Science & People

History of geometry | Timeline of discoveries, and famous geometers

Let’s talk about the history of geometry. The term “geometry” is derived from the ancient Greek word geometria which means “measurement (-metria) of earth or land (geo)”, but this branch of mathematics covers much more than mapping. Geometry explains the relationship between shape and size, and also the nature of mathematics and numbers. In this article, you will find about the famous scientists of geometry and the discoveries they made.

A brief history of geometry

Geometry first appeared in the ancient world as a set of rules and formulas suitable for planning, construction, and solving mathematical problems. Greek philosophers such as Thales, Pythagoras, and Plato realized the fundamental relationship between the nature of space and geometry and reinforced the geometry as an important field of study belong to mathematics. Euclid, who was probably Plato’s student worked as a teacher in Alexandria, summed up the early Greek geometry in his magnificent work, “Elements”, written in 300 BC, and created scientific principles for geometric models using a handful of simple rules and axioms.

Let no one ignorant of geometry enter

Plato, Greek philosopher, and mathematician

The turning point in comprehension

Throughout the Middle Ages, mathematicians and philosophers from different cultures continued to use geometry to create the model of the universe. But the next major milestone came with the work of the French mathematician and philosopher Rene Descartes, who lived in the 17th century. Descartes developed coordinate systems to define the positions of the points in two-dimensional and three-dimensional space led to the birth of the field of analytical geometry, a new tool of mathematical algebra to solve and define geometry problems.

Descartes’ work also led to the emergence of far more exotic forms of geometry. Mathematicians had long known that there were regions such as the surface of the sphere where axioms of Euclidean geometry do not apply. The discovery of the non-Euclidean geometry helped clarify much more fundamental principles that combined number and geometry. In 1899, German mathematician David Hilbert developed new and more generalized axioms. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, these axioms were applied to a wide variety of mathematical scenarios.

Spherical geometry

Spherical geometry allows calculating areas and angles of spherical surfaces (such as star or planet positions in the imaginary sky sphere used by astronomers, or the locations of points on a map). This system does not follow Euclidean rules. In spherical geometry, the sum of angles in a triangle is more than 180 degrees, and the parallel lines ultimately intersect each other.

Discoveries of geometry from the famous geometers

The timeline from the birth of practical geometry to the fractal geometry.