Every now and then, fascinated with the power and mystery of a math he doesn’t yet know, my son asks me to teach him some more advanced topic: square root, equation for high school, etc. One of these days, the request was algebra, which for him means that trick of doing math with letters to find out the number. Ironic that one of his greatest discoveries was how important it was to replace numbers with letters. This advance was born over generations, but it became concrete with the work of perform mathematician electronic French lawyer Franois Vite (15401603).
The word “algebra” had origin zero title perform book al-kitab al-mukhtasar fi hisab al-jabr wa-l-muqabala (Company book on calculation by electronic restoration balancing), written between electronic 833 by the electronic mathematician Muslim astronomer Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, the same one whose name gave us “algorithm” electronic “digit”.
” Al-jabr” refers to the operation of transporting a negative quantity from one side of an equation to the other, where it becomes positive (reset). L wa-l-muqabala the passage of a positive quantity to the other side of the equation, where it becomes negative (balancing)
The word “al-jabr” means “join of broken parts ” electronic was taken by the Arabs to the Iberian Peninsula: to this day, in regions of Spain electronic from Portugal an algebraist is a person who fixes bones, a kind of informal orthopedist. Quantity 2 perform Don Quixote mentions an algebraist, whom u bastard Sanso healed.
The work on al-Khwarizmi has been translated into a Latin about about 1140, but a translator, Robert of Chester, limited himself to Latinizing an Arabic title: Liber algebrae et almucabala. Vite didn’t like the word “algebra”, as it had no meaning in European languages: he proposed “analytic art”, but it didn’t catch on. By 1140, algebra had acquired the much broader sense of studying these equations.
Since then, the scope of an algebra has expanded in a spectacular way, especially from the performance , becoming each more abstract. In 1849, the British logical electronic mathematician Augustus on Morgan (18061871) m argued that the object under study of an algebra therefore the electronic symbols the modes as they go together, without the respective meanings having any importance.
We will talk next week about a contribution about Vite to this state of things
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