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Scientific Biographies

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by Matthew Terry


Contributions to Society


Pythagoras at his school

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•Influenced geometry, music, and astronomy.•Along with his teacher Thales, he was one of the first mathematicians to come up with theorems and use them to prove other math theorems. Before then, math was mainly used for observation and measurement.•Came up with mathematical theorems including these:Pythagorean theorem- the square of the hypotenuse of a right triange equals the sum of the squares of the lengths of the triangle's other two sides a² + b²=c²The sum of the internal angles of a triangle equals two right angles ( 180 degrees).The sum of the external angles of a triangle equals four right angles (360 degree).•Discovered prime and composite numbers•Discovered irrational numbers.when he realized some square roots weren’t integers. Used square roots in finding lengths of side of triangles. •Father of trigonometry

Douglass, Charlene. "Biography of Pythagoras." Math Open Reference. N.p., 2005. Web. 21 Aug. 2014. . Martin, Luke. "Pythagoras - Greek Mathematics." The Story of Mathematics. N.p., 2010. Web. 22 Aug. 2014. . Pennington, Bruce. "The Death of Pythagoras." Philosophy Now. N.p., July-Aug. 2014. Web. 24 Aug. 2014. . Shuttleworth, Martyn. "Pythagoras." Explorable. N.p., 9 Mar. 2010. Web. 23 Aug. 2014. .


•Taught that the earth was a sphere. Believed planets were in circular orbit. Influenced Renaissance astronomer Copernicus who named his work Astronomia Pythagorica after him.

•Discovered the relationship of mathematical ratios in music-harmony•Founded a school in Croton that studied mathematics and philosphy. His students were called Pythagoreans

Note; Because the Pythagoreans had a vow of secrecy and Pythagoras would not let them write his theorems down, it is unclear if Pythagoras or his students made his discoveries in mathematics

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Played the lyre.Believed in reincarnation.Was a vegetarian.Wouldn't eat beans. One legend is that he was killed by mob because he would not escape across a bean field because he would trample beans.He believed beans were related to humans because they looked like human fetuses.

Additional Contributions

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569BC Born in Samos Greece to a rich gem merchant 547-549BC? Went to Miletus and was taught by Thales, mathematician and philosopher who was influenced by Egyptians and Babylonians. Thales told him to go to Egypt535BC Went to Eqypt to study with priests 530BC Captured in Egypt by Persians and taken to Babylon where he learned sacred rites from Magoi priests520BC Released from captivity and returned to Samos. Founded school called Semicircle518 BC Founded school in Croton Italy which was a Greek colony500-475 BC Died possibly killed by angry mob who didn’t like Pythagoreans. Dont know exact date as he told followers not to write things down.


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