'Magic is No Magic': The Wonderful World of Simon Stevin

WIT Press, 12 nov 2008 - 352 pagina's
This book gives a comprehensive picture of the activities and the creative heritage of Simon Stevin, who made outstanding contributions to various fields of science, in particular physics and mathematics. Among the striking spectrum of his ingenious achievements, it is worth emphasizing that Simon Stevin is rightly considered as the father of the system of decimal fractions as it is in use today. Stevin also urged the universal use of decimal fractions along with standardization in coinage, measures and weights. This was a most visionary proposal. Stevin was the first since Archimedes to make a significant new contribution to statics and hydrostatics. He truly was "homo universalis." The impact of Stevin's work has been multilateral and worldwide, including literature (William Shakespeare), science (from Christian Huygens to Richard Feynman), politics (Thomas Jefferson) and many other fields. Thomas Jefferson, together with Alexander Hamilton and Robert Morris, advocated introducing the decimal monetary units in the USA with reference to the book "De Thiende" by S. Stevin and in particular to the English translation of the book: "Disme: The Art of Tenths" by Robert Norton. In accordance with the title of this translation, the name of the first silver coin issued in the USA in 1792 was 'disme' (since 1837 the spelling changed to ('dime'). It was considered as a symbol of national independence of the USA.

Geselecteerde pagina's


Chapter One Simon Stevin and the Renaissance
Chapter Two Simon Stevin religious exile?
Chapter Three The man who invented the decimal system
Chapter Four Engineer and Inventor
Chapter Five Economist avant la lettre
Chapter Six Wonder en is gheen wonder
Memling and Stevin
Chapter Seven The link between Italian and French algebra
Chapter Eight Stevins contribution to the Dutch language
Chapter Nine Perspective
Chapter Eleven An unfinished composition
Explanation of the most important ideas in the Singconst
Chapter Twelve The resonance of Simon Stevin and his work
Later reactions of eminent scholars
Index of subjects

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Over de auteur (2008)

Jozef T. Devreese is a professor in theoretical physics at the University of Antwerp and at the Technical University of Eindhoven. Guido Vanden Berghe is a professor in numerical mathematics at the University of Ghent. Both have numerous publications to their names, which also concern the history of science.

Bibliografische gegevens