From Cardano's Great Art to Lagrange's Reflections: Filling a Gap in the History of Algebra (Heritage of European Mathematics) by Jacqueline Stedall
English | Mar 15, 2011 | ISBN: 3037190922 | 236 Pages | PDF | 4 MB
This book is an exploration of a claim made by Lagrange in the autumn of 1771 as he embarked upon his lengthy "Réflexions sur la resolution algébrique des equations": that there had been few advances in the algebraic solution of equations since the time of Cardano in the mid sixteenth century. That opinion has been shared by many later historians. The present study attempts to redress that view and to examine the intertwined developments in the theory of equations from Cardano to Lagrange. A similar historical exploration led Lagrange himself to insights that were to transform the entire nature and scope of algebra. Progress was not confined to any one country: at different times mathematicians in Italy, France, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Russia, and Germany contributed to the discussion and to a gradual deepening of understanding.