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Topic: Number line (was Sir Andrew Wiles)
Replies: 2   Last Post: Feb 18, 2009 9:58 AM

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James A. Landau

Posts: 17
Registered: 10/15/08
Number line (was Sir Andrew Wiles)
Posted: Feb 16, 2009 1:15 PM
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I would have thought the idea went back at least to Descartes, but a search through Google Books did not return anything earlier than 1899.

http://books.google.com/books?id=QjEAAAAAMAAJ&q=%22number+line%22+date:1890-1900&dq=%22number+line%22+date:1890-1900&lr=&as_brr=0&as_pt=ALLTYPES&pgis=1

This was (according to Google Books) in Telephone Magazine, 1899, page 303. It was a snippet view, so the citation is incomplete:

"?Gauss?s representation of complex numbers is not systematic, on account of the direct step from the number line to the num-"

The original is in the New York Public Library, on the off-chance you want to look it up.

Sorry I couldn't be more helpful.

James A. Landau
Northrop-Grumman Information Technology
8025 Black Horse Pike, Suite 300
West Atlantic City NJ 08232 USA

--- Samuel.Kutler@sjca.edu wrote:

From: "Kutler, Samuel" <Samuel.Kutler@sjca.edu>
To: <JJJRLandau@netscape.com>, <MATH-HISTORY-LIST@ENTERPRISE.MAA.ORG>
Subject: RE: Sir Andrew Wiles
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2009 06:23:13 -0500

When did the term real number line appear, and when did someone say that
there is a one-to-one correspondence between the real numbers and the points on the real number line?






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