Q&A for people interested in the history and origins of science and mathematics

79 What famous theorems or results were proven by female mathematicians? 2015-10-18T13:28:28.120

77 Examples of when the professional scientists or mathematicians were wrong, but the nonprofessionals were right 2019-01-18T05:37:47.187

67 What evidence is there that Fermat had a proof for his Last Theorem? 2014-10-28T21:11:41.460

66 Why was Évariste Galois killed? 2014-10-28T21:35:58.003

56 What's the famous story about a mathematician who gave a talk without saying a word? 2015-03-31T00:07:49.300

55 What is Ptolemy holding in his picture on Wikipedia? 2016-06-22T12:50:04.523

51 Why are X and Y commonly used as mathematical placeholders? 2018-12-27T19:03:04.740

47 Was Occam’s razor ever wrong? 2014-10-28T22:56:10.307

47 Which came first, the natural logarithm or the base of the natural logarithm? 2014-10-29T00:50:38.260

46 How did German become the language of science? 2014-10-31T15:52:32.050

43 Timeline of measurements of the electron's charge 2014-11-05T19:07:24.517

42 When exactly (and why) did matrices become a part of the undergraduate curriculum? 2014-11-01T21:02:13.600

41 Did Gauss find the formula for $1+2+3+\ldots+(n-2)+(n-1)+n$ in elementary school? 2014-11-11T22:57:19.287

41 Writing Mathematical Symbols in 20th century 2015-05-06T20:10:32.950

40 What led to the fall of Göttingen? 2014-11-02T00:54:40.500

38 What is the difference between Calculus of Newton and that of Leibniz? 2014-10-29T05:25:55.803

36 What was Euler's motivation for introducing $i$ for $\sqrt{-1}$? 2014-11-22T18:09:01.520

36 What new mathematics was inspired by biology and chemistry? 2015-02-17T22:17:13.767

36 Why do we call Tycho Brahe by his first name? 2020-01-03T02:37:59.933

35 When did Mathematics stop being one of "the Sciences"? 2014-10-29T05:21:41.490

35 What motivated Cantor to invent set theory? 2014-10-29T06:13:14.940

34 Why did algebraic geometry need Alexander Grothendieck? 2015-01-13T22:23:44.787

34 Why volt instead of volta? 2019-12-31T12:16:11.880

33 Why is price on the vertical axis and quantity on the horizontal axis? 2014-10-30T12:30:46.013

33 Whose shoulders did Newton stand on? 2014-11-10T04:48:02.527

33 What is so mysterious about Archimedes' approximation of $\sqrt 3$? 2015-01-01T21:45:12.043

31 Are there written (19th century) sources expressing the belief that the intermediate value property is equivalent to continuity? 2014-10-29T07:13:52.747

31 What did the Soviets do with German scientists after WWII? 2014-11-01T19:05:43.450

31 Which mathematicians died very young or in a tragic way? 2015-11-27T17:08:03.823

30 Who introduced the Principle of Mathematical Induction for the first time? 2014-11-19T18:47:05.857

30 Why did the ancient Greeks originally become interested in conic sections? 2015-05-10T22:45:28.213

30 Current ways of thinking in the History of Mathematics 2015-09-26T18:45:29.790

30 How did people make things perfectly straight? 2021-01-02T14:47:48.423

29 Was evolution ever discussed (perhaps using different terms) prior to Darwin? 2014-10-29T17:18:34.950

29 Why is American and French notation different for open intervals (x, y) vs. ]x, y[? 2014-10-30T15:44:08.230

28 When and how was the geometric understanding of gauge theories developed? 2014-10-28T21:43:09.557

27 What were the dominant non-atomic theories of matter in the 19th century? 2014-10-29T12:55:21.747

27 Contributions to chemistry from medieval Arabia 2014-10-29T21:27:32.927

27 Did physicists around 1900 really believe they were close to "figuring it all out"? 2014-11-01T22:18:58.163

27 What are some scientific breakthroughs that have been done during jail time? 2014-11-08T17:57:44.583

27 The history of different constructions of tangent spaces 2014-11-14T11:28:26.190

27 Was object oriented programming influenced by the mathematical category theory? 2014-12-10T02:14:09.293

27 Roman engineers 2015-03-06T20:26:33.820

27 Who attached Buniakovsky's name to the Cauchy-Schwarz inequality? 2016-03-03T23:05:03.670

26 How did Napier come to invent logarithms? 2014-12-10T14:05:59.330

26 Who introduced random variables into probability? 2015-04-22T02:22:57.783

26 Why did no one else, except Einstein, work on developing General Relativity between 1905-1915? 2020-12-05T11:10:09.603

25 Was fake/rigged data common prior to the 20th century? 2014-10-30T00:08:38.767

25 Did Galileo's writings on infinity influence Cantor? 2014-11-13T20:07:00.413

25 What attracted Einstein to the anomalous precession of Mercury? 2015-05-10T20:56:07.223