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On This Day

  • 10-16-1707

    Roger Cotes elected first Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at Cambridge at age 26. He is best known for his meticulous and creative editing of the second edition (1713) of Newton's Principia. He was also an important developer of the integral calculus.

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    Roger Cotes
    Principia Mathematica
  • 10-16-1797

    Gauss recorded in his diary that he had discovered a new proof of the Pythagorean Theorem.

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    Carl Friedrich Gauss
  • 10-16-1843

    William Rowan Hamilton discovered quaternions while walking along the Royal Canal in Dublin and immediately scratched the multiplication formulas on the side of the Brougham Bridge with his knife. A memorial plaque of that event is still at the bridge.

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    William Rowan Hamilton