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The Mathematics Enthusiast

Authors

Jade Roskam

Volume

6

Issue

1-2

Abstract

Book X from The Elements contains more than three times the number of propositions in any of the other Books of Euclid. With length as a factor, anyone attempting to understand Euclidean geometry may be hoping for a manageable subject matter, something comparable to Book VII’s investigation of number theory. They are instead faced with a dizzying array of new terminology aimed at the understanding of irrational magnitudes without a numerical analogue to aid understanding. The true beauty of Book X is seen in its systematic examination and labeling of irrational lines. This paper investigates the early theory of irrationals, the methodical presentation and interaction of these magnitudes presented in The Elements, and the application of Euclidean theory today.

First Page

277

Last Page

294

Included in

Mathematics Commons

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