“There is no Royal Road to Geometry.”
Known As : Euclid of Alexandria or Founder of Geometry
Born : Mid-4th century BC
Died : Mid-3rd century BC
Nationality : Greek
Fields : Mathematics
We all have that one vivid childhood memory of struggling to use the protractor and compass in vain to create acute and obtuse angles. Well, Euclid of Alexandria, a Greek Mathematician is the reason for it all. Known as the “Founder of Geometry”, he has remained one of the most influential mathematicians in history.
7 Fun And Interesting Facts About Euclid :
1. Real or Fiction? :
Unlike most other phenomenal people of his age and time, there have been very few written biographies of Euclid and for the same reason, it is believed by some that Euclid is a fictional character that was created by a group of mathematicians after the famous Euclid of Megara.
2. Too Much Geometry :
After Euclid’s geometric theories, many other mathematicians who came later created their own theories (mostly in the 19th century) and so his theory became known as the Euclidean geometry to set it apart from the rest.
3. Euclid’s Elements :
This is probably one of his most important works that has stood the test of time. It is a collection of 13 books that contain several axioms, theorems and propositions, and mathematical proofs to justify them.
4. The Prime Numbers :
Euclid was widely known for his theories and findings on prime numbers, their divisions and factorizations. He has also explained the relation between prime and perfect numbers, and its infinitude in the number theory mentioned in Elements.
5. Famous Contemporary :
Archimedes of Syracuse, the renowned Greek mathematician and astronomer, was one of the first to mention Euclid as their fellow mathematician and contemporary. Unlike Euclid, however, his works did not survive as much as Euclid’s did.
6. The Synthetic Approach :
Euclid used what is called the “synthetic approach” to prove most of his theories and propositions. Using this approach, one moves up in eventual logical steps into the unknown from the known.
7. Euclid and Abraham Lincoln :
What in the world would this connection mean, you’d ask. It was said by his law partner Billy Herndon that Lincoln would study Euclid’s geometry by the lamplight, in between breaks from his horseback travel, because the propositions had inspired him deeply in his pursuit of law.