Timeline of geometry

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The following is a timeline of key developments of geometry:


Before 1000 BC

1st millennium BC

1st millennium


17th century

18th century

19th century

20th century

21st century

See also

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Constructible number</span> Number constructible via compass and straightedge

In geometry and algebra, a real number is constructible if and only if, given a line segment of unit length, a line segment of length can be constructed with compass and straightedge in a finite number of steps. Equivalently, is constructible if and only if there is a closed-form expression for using only integers and the operations for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square roots.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Euclidean geometry</span> Mathematical model of the physical space

Euclidean geometry is a mathematical system attributed to ancient Greek mathematician Euclid, which he described in his textbook on geometry, Elements. Euclid's approach consists in assuming a small set of intuitively appealing axioms (postulates) and deducing many other propositions (theorems) from these. Although many of Euclid's results had been stated earlier, Euclid was the first to organize these propositions into a logical system in which each result is proved from axioms and previously proved theorems.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of geometry</span> Historical development of geometry

Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of pre-modern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers (arithmetic).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of mathematics</span>

The history of mathematics deals with the origin of discoveries in mathematics and the mathematical methods and notation of the past. Before the modern age and the worldwide spread of knowledge, written examples of new mathematical developments have come to light only in a few locales. From 3000 BC the Mesopotamian states of Sumer, Akkad and Assyria, followed closely by Ancient Egypt and the Levantine state of Ebla began using arithmetic, algebra and geometry for purposes of taxation, commerce, trade and also in the patterns in nature, the field of astronomy and to record time and formulate calendars.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trigonometric functions</span> Functions of an angle

In mathematics, the trigonometric functions are real functions which relate an angle of a right-angled triangle to ratios of two side lengths. They are widely used in all sciences that are related to geometry, such as navigation, solid mechanics, celestial mechanics, geodesy, and many others. They are among the simplest periodic functions, and as such are also widely used for studying periodic phenomena through Fourier analysis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Triangle</span> Shape with three sides

A triangle is a polygon with three corners and three sides, one of the basic shapes in geometry. The corners, also called vertices, are zero-dimensional points while the sides connecting them, also called edges, are one-dimensional line segments. The triangle's interior is a two-dimensional region. Sometimes an arbitrary edge is chosen to be the base, in which case the opposite vertex is called the apex.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Straightedge and compass construction</span> Method of drawing geometric objects

In geometry, straightedge-and-compass construction – also known as ruler-and-compass construction, Euclidean construction, or classical construction – is the construction of lengths, angles, and other geometric figures using only an idealized ruler and a pair of compasses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cyclic quadrilateral</span> Quadrilateral whose vertices can all fall on a single circle

In Euclidean geometry, a cyclic quadrilateral or inscribed quadrilateral is a quadrilateral whose vertices all lie on a single circle. This circle is called the circumcircle or circumscribed circle, and the vertices are said to be concyclic. The center of the circle and its radius are called the circumcenter and the circumradius respectively. Other names for these quadrilaterals are concyclic quadrilateral and chordal quadrilateral, the latter since the sides of the quadrilateral are chords of the circumcircle. Usually the quadrilateral is assumed to be convex, but there are also crossed cyclic quadrilaterals. The formulas and properties given below are valid in the convex case.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Squaring the circle</span> Problem of constructing equal-area shapes

Squaring the circle is a problem in geometry first proposed in Greek mathematics. It is the challenge of constructing a square with the area of a given circle by using only a finite number of steps with a compass and straightedge. The difficulty of the problem raised the question of whether specified axioms of Euclidean geometry concerning the existence of lines and circles implied the existence of such a square.

The timeline below shows the date of publication of possible major scientific breakthroughs, theories and discoveries, along with the discoverer. This article discounts mere speculation as discovery, although imperfect reasoned arguments, arguments based on elegance/simplicity, and numerically/experimentally verified conjectures qualify. The timeline begins at the Bronze Age, as it is difficult to give even estimates for the timing of events prior to this, such as of the discovery of counting, natural numbers and arithmetic.

Indian mathematics emerged in the Indian subcontinent from 1200 BCE until the end of the 18th century. In the classical period of Indian mathematics, important contributions were made by scholars like Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Bhaskara II, and Varāhamihira. The decimal number system in use today was first recorded in Indian mathematics. Indian mathematicians made early contributions to the study of the concept of zero as a number, negative numbers, arithmetic, and algebra. In addition, trigonometry was further advanced in India, and, in particular, the modern definitions of sine and cosine were developed there. These mathematical concepts were transmitted to the Middle East, China, and Europe and led to further developments that now form the foundations of many areas of mathematics.

Divine Proportions: Rational Trigonometry to Universal Geometry is a 2005 book by the mathematician Norman J. Wildberger on a proposed alternative approach to Euclidean geometry and trigonometry, called rational trigonometry. The book advocates replacing the usual basic quantities of trigonometry, Euclidean distance and angle measure, by squared distance and the square of the sine of the angle, respectively. This is logically equivalent to the standard development. The author claims his approach holds some advantages, such as avoiding the need for irrational numbers.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sine and cosine</span> Fundamental trigonometric functions

In mathematics, sine and cosine are trigonometric functions of an angle. The sine and cosine of an acute angle are defined in the context of a right triangle: for the specified angle, its sine is the ratio of the length of the side that is opposite that angle to the length of the longest side of the triangle, and the cosine is the ratio of the length of the adjacent leg to that of the hypotenuse. For an angle , the sine and cosine functions are denoted simply as and .

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of trigonometry</span>

Early study of triangles can be traced to the 2nd millennium BC, in Egyptian mathematics and Babylonian mathematics. Trigonometry was also prevalent in Kushite mathematics. Systematic study of trigonometric functions began in Hellenistic mathematics, reaching India as part of Hellenistic astronomy. In Indian astronomy, the study of trigonometric functions flourished in the Gupta period, especially due to Aryabhata, who discovered the sine function. During the Middle Ages, the study of trigonometry continued in Islamic mathematics, by mathematicians such as Al-Khwarizmi and Abu al-Wafa. It became an independent discipline in the Islamic world, where all six trigonometric functions were known. Translations of Arabic and Greek texts led to trigonometry being adopted as a subject in the Latin West beginning in the Renaissance with Regiomontanus. The development of modern trigonometry shifted during the western Age of Enlightenment, beginning with 17th-century mathematics and reaching its modern form with Leonhard Euler (1748).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of ancient Greek mathematicians</span> Timeline and summary of ancient Greek mathematicians and their discoveries

This is a timeline of mathematicians in ancient Greece.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Timeline of calculus and mathematical analysis</span> Summary of advancements in Calculus

A timeline of calculus and mathematical analysis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Law of cosines</span> Property of all triangles on a Euclidean plane

In trigonometry, the law of cosines relates the lengths of the sides of a triangle to the cosine of one of its angles. For a triangle with sides and opposite respective angles and , the law of cosines states:

This is a timeline of pure and applied mathematics history. It is divided here into three stages, corresponding to stages in the development of mathematical notation: a "rhetorical" stage in which calculations are described purely by words, a "syncopated" stage in which quantities and common algebraic operations are beginning to be represented by symbolic abbreviations, and finally a "symbolic" stage, in which comprehensive notational systems for formulas are the norm.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pythagorean theorem</span> Relation between sides of a right triangle

In mathematics, the Pythagorean theorem or Pythagoras' theorem is a fundamental relation in Euclidean geometry between the three sides of a right triangle. It states that the area of the square whose side is the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the areas of the squares on the other two sides.


  1. Jones, Alexander; Proust, Christine (eds.). "Before Pythagoras: The Culture of Old Babylonian Mathematics". Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University . Retrieved 4 April 2023.
  2. Arabic mathematics, MacTutor History of Mathematics archive , University of St Andrews, Scotland
  3. Thomson, Elizabeth A. (18 March 2007). "Math research team maps E8: Calculation on paper would cover Manhattan". MIT News. Retrieved 19 February 2024.