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Topic: [HM] Theorem of tangents
Replies: 5   Last Post: Mar 28, 2001 4:57 PM

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Julio Gonzalez Cabillon

Posts: 1,353
Registered: 12/3/04
Re: [HM] Theorem of tangents
Posted: Mar 28, 2001 1:00 PM
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Avinoam Mann wrote:

<< I am quoting from Carl Boyer's _A History of Mathematics_
(1968), p.339:

<< Vi` another work a few years later, _Variorum de
rebus mathematicis_ (1593), there is a statement equivalent
to our law of tangents:... Though Vi`ete may have been the
first to use this formula, it was first published by a more
obscure figure, Thomas Finck, in 1583 in _Geometria rotundi_.
(I've omitted the formula).

<< I don't know why Boyer thinks that Vi`ete may have been the
discoverer of this formula, even though Finck's book is ten
years earlier. In the _Norton History of the Mathematical
Sciences_, by I.Grattan-Guinness (1997), Finck's book is
called _Geometria rotunda_, and it is stated that the names
_tangent_ and _secant_ were introduced in that book.

<< Anybody knows more about Thomas Finck? >>

Please note that this is Thomas FinckE. More information online at

Regards, Julio

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