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Home > Category Index for Science Quotations > Category Index I > Category: Irrational Number

Irrational Number Quotes (4 quotes)

Indeed, if one understands by algebra the application of arithmetic operations to composite magnitudes of all kinds, whether they be rational or irrational number or space magnitudes, then the learned Brahmins of Hindostan are the true inventors of algebra.
In Geschichte der Mathematik im Altertum und im Mittelalter (1874), 195. As translated in Robert Ιdouard Moritz, Memorabilia Mathematica; Or, The Philomaths Quotation-book (1914), 284. From the original German, Ja, wenn man unter Algebra die Anwendung arithmetischer Operationen auf zusammengesetzte Grφssen aller Art, mφgen sie rationale oder irrationale Zahl- oder Raumgrφssen sein, versteht, so sind die gelehrten Brahmanen Hindustans die wahren Erfinder der Algebra.
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Just as the introduction of the irrational numbers  is a convenient myth [which] simplifies the laws of arithmetic  so physical objects are postulated entities which round out and simplify our account of the flux of existence The conceptional scheme of physical objects is [likewise] a convenient myth, simpler than the literal truth and yet containing that literal truth as a scattered part.
In J. Koenderink Solid Shape (1990.), 16.
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What good your beautiful proof on [the transcendence of] π? Why investigate such problems, given that irrational numbers do not even exist?
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the definition of irrational numbers, on which geometric representations have often had a confusing influence.  I take in my definition a purely formal point of view, calling some given symbols numbers, so that the existence of these numbers is beyond doubt.
(1872). As quoted in Ernst Hairer and Gerhard Wanner, Analysis by Its History (2008), 177.
Science quotes on:  |  Confuse (20)  |  Definition (227)  |  Doubt (309)  |  Existence (468)  |  Formal (35)  |  Geometry (265)  |  Number (703)  |  Point Of View (83)  |  Representation (54)  |  Symbol (94)

In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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