By: Dahnavon Pippen
How He Became Interested:
Euclid stated that axioms were statements that were just believed to be true, but he realized that by blindly following statements, there would be no point in devising mathematical theories and formula. He realized that even axioms had to be backed with solid proofs. Therefore, he started to develop logical evidences that would testify his axioms and theorems in geometry. In order to further understand these axioms, he divided them into groups of two called postulates. One group would be called the ‘common notions’ which were agreed statements of science. His second set of postulates was synonymous with geometry. The first set of notions mentioned statements such as the “whole is greater than the part” and “things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another”. These are only two of the five statements written by Euclid. The remaining five statements in the second set of postulates are a little more specific to the subject of Geometry and state theories such as “All right angle are equal” and “straight lines can be drawn between any two points”.
Euclid’s career flourished as a Mathematician and the Elements was eventually translated from Greek to Arabic and then into English by John Dee in the early periods of 1570. There were more than 1000 editions of the ‘Elements’ printed ever since its inception, which eventually secured a place in early 20th century classrooms as well. There have been a myriad of Mathematicians who tried to refute and break Euclid’s theories in geometry and mathematics, but these attempts were always futile. An Italian Mathematician called Girolamo Saccheri tried to outdo the works of Euclid, but gave up when he couldn’t pinpoint a single flaw in his theories. It would take another century for a new group of Mathematicians to present new theories in the subject of geometry.
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