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Analytic Geomety

  • Date Submitted: 10/04/2013 07:31 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 42 
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The History of Geometry1 may be roughly divided into the four periods: (1) The synthetic geometry of the Greeks, practically closing with Archimedes; (2) The birth of analytic geometry, in which the synthetic geometry of Guldin, Desargues, Kepler, and Roberval merged into the coordinate geometry of Descartes and Fermat; (3) 1650 to 1800, characterized by the application of the calculus to geometry, and including the names of Newton, Leibnitz, the Bernoullis, Clairaut, Maclaurin, Euler, and Lagrange, each an analyst rather than a geometer; (4) The nineteenth century, the renaissance of pure geometry, characterized by the descriptive geometry of Monge, the modern synthetic of Poncelet, Steiner, von Staudt, and Cremona, the modern analytic founded by Plücker, the non-Euclidean hypothesis of Lobachevsky and Bolyai, and the more elementary geometry of the triangle founded by Lemoine. It is quite impossible to draw the line between the analytic and the synthetic geometry of the nineteenth century, in their historical development, and Arts. 15 and 16 should be read together. The Analytic Geometry which Descartes gave to the world in 1637 was confined to plane curves, and the various important properties common to all algebraic curves were soon discovered. To the theory Newton contributed three celebrated theorems on the Enumeratio linearum tertii ordinis2 (1706), while others are due to Cotes (1722), Maclaurin, and Waring (1762, 1772, etc.). The scientific foundations of the theory of plane curves may be ascribed, however, to Euler (1748) and Cramer (1750). Euler distinguished between algebraic and transcendent curves, and attempted a classification of the former. Cramer is well known for the “paradox” which bears his name, an obstacle which Lamé (1818) finally removed from the theory. To Cramer is also due an attempt to put the theory of singularities of algebraic curves on a scientific foundation, although in a modern geometric sense the theory was first treated by...


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