Pythagoras was an outstanding mathematician and philosopher from Ionia. He entered the world on the Greek island of Samos in the sixth century B.C. His devotees, known as Pythagoreans, included those who studied mathematics (the Mathematekoi) and those who listened to music (the Acousmatics). He was a leading proponent that a finite set of characteristic numbers could capture all phenomena. His students and Philolaus did the work that led to the facts about Pythagoras and the ideas that are known today in his name. Aside from the Pythagorean theorem, a noted Pythagoras contribution in mathematics, he made a lot of other important advances. In this blog, we will discuss 11 interesting Pythagoras contributions in Mathematics.
Pythagoras Contributions To Mathematics
The first and foremost contribution of Pythagoras to mathematics is based on the principle that numeric values have the essence of spirituality like God is number. This principle is also helped in numerology. They thought that each number had its meaning and personality. For example, the number 3 meant unity, the number 4 meant four seasons and four elements, and so on. They used to worship numbers and believed in numerology very deeply.
Pythagoras and those who believed in him thought that music had the same effect on the body as healing. Pythagoras was the first to say that music could help people improve themselves and feel calm. He noticed that the hammer’s sound was directly related to its size. This showed that music was based on math.
Suggested Reading: How to improve reading skills in children?
He was the pioneer who first deduced that the Earth possessed a spherical shape. The individual in question posited that the celestial bodies commonly referred to as the morning and evening stars are in fact identical, thereby indicating that they both correspond to the planet Venus. He also found that the Moon’s path was tilted towards the Earth’s Equator. Pythagoreans thought that the Earth, stars, and planets all move around a center light in a circle, which causes nights and days.
We all know Pythagoras because of his famous Pythagoras theorem in mathematics. According to this theorem the length of the longest side of the right-angled triangle is hypotenuse. This hypotenuse is equal to the total of the square of the other two sides of the triangle. In math, we write this as – a2 + b2 = c2.
Aristotle observes that Plato’s arguments were significantly influenced by Pythagorean principles. Plato and Pythagoras espoused the notion that mathematical inquiry possessed the capacity to transform our understanding of the cosmos. There is a prevailing belief that Pythagoras imparted to Plato the mathematical principles that serve as the foundation for both rationality and ethics.
Pythagoreans were the first people to figure out what numbers were right. Perfect numbers are those whose proper divisors add up to the same number, such as 6, 28, 496, and 8128. People think that Pythagoras studied the mystical features of these numbers.
Pythagoreans are said to have found the first pair of numbers that work well together. A set of two numerical values is deemed as amicable if the total of the divisors of one number is equivalent to the other number, and vice versa.
Suggested Reading: Leadership Qualities for Children
One of Pythagoras’s teachers, Hippasus, was inspired by his ideas to find a new set of numbers. He called them “irrational numbers.” Hippasus attempted to determine the numerical value of 2, but encountered difficulty as this particular number is considered irrational and cannot be expressed as a fraction. He devised a novel set of numerical values that augmented the Pythagorean theorem.
Another Pythagoras contribution to mathematics was that the Tetractys is a triangle shape with 10 dots in four rows. The sum of the four rows is 10. The Pythagoreans gave the number 10 a very important place. They say that ten is a holy number. Fire, air, water, and Earth are the four ancient elements that Tetractys represents.
Pythagoras and his followers also came up with the idea that the sides of a triangle are important. They said you get two right angles when you add up all of a triangle’s angles. They also came up with the generalisation, “The sum of an n-sided polygon’s interior angles is (2n-4) right angles, and the sum of its exterior angles is four right angles.”
Proclus gave Pythagoras credit for finding the five regular solids, which are the cube, triangle, octahedron, dodecahedron, and icosahedron. Plato wrote more about the properties of these solids, which is why they are named after him, just like Plato’s normal solids. In books written in the 16th and 17th centuries, these materials’ qualities were discussed at length.
Suggested Reading: 40 Facts about Himalaya Mountains
Some of the most important ways the Pythagorean theorem is used in real life are:
- Used in building and building design.
- Used to find the smallest route in two-dimensional tracking.
- Used to measure how high the sides of hills or mountains are.
- To figure out how long a ladder needs to be to reach a window
- To figure out how long the longest thing can fit in your room is.
- To figure out how steep a hill or rock is.
- To figure out the original height of a tree that has fallen over because of heavy rain
- To measure and figure out heights on building sites.
Pythagoras made important advances to science, math, philosophy, and music, among other things. He is popularly known as “father of philosophy” because of all his work. It is impossible to understate his effect on subsequent philosophers such as Plato. His influence was so strong that he might be considered the most persuasive thinker of all time.
Who invented Pythagoras theorem?
It is believed that mathematician-philosopher Pythagoras invented Pythagoras theorem. Researchers say that the theorem is older.
When was Pythagoras theorem invented?
Pythagoras theorem is believed to be as old as about 1900 B.C.
Did Indians invent Pythagoras Theorem?
The ancient Indian mathematician Baudhayana (800 BC – 740 BC) is believed to be the Father of Pythagoras theorem. He invented it thousands of years before than Pythagoras did.