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Still Waters

Stonehenge builders used Pythagoras' theorem?

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Still Waters

If there's one thing the ancient mathematician Pythagoras of Samos is most famous for, it's a formula to work out the longest side of a right-angled triangle.

The pointy-bearded Greek might get the kudos, but the theorem has popped up independently throughout history, and across the globe. A new book adds another to the list – it was used in ancient Britain to build the famous monument Stonehenge.

The authors behind Megalith: Studies in Stone have used the geometry of the massive blocks making up the henge to suggest their creators knew a thing or two about the relationship between a hypotenuse and its opposing sides.

https://www.sciencealert.com/pythagoras-triangle-used-construction-stonehenge

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acute

I wouldn't call it a "theorem".  It hasn't been conclusively proved to my satisfaction. ;)

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bison

The details are rather scant, in the several articles I've read on this story. From what I can gather, they added up the measurements of four of the sarsen stones, and claimed that this, somehow, provided the proportions of a right angle triangle, sides 5 and 12, hypotenuse 13.

I was concerned about these facts: 

The length of most of the sarsen stones varies within the range of nine to ten meters.

They are tapered, so that their width varies from around 1.8 to 2.1 meters. 

Given these variations, it would seem very difficult to derive the claimed proportions with any confidence. 

 

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Captain Risky

i call bullchit.

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stereologist

This was a good part of the story

Quote

Numerical relationships hidden in structures and locations are a favourite topic for historians, and while they can indeed provide clear signs of knowledge and cultural development, they can also be figments of our own imagination.

 

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Essan

Did ancient Britons use alien technology to decide the location of 20th century shops?!   Proof the Illuninati control where you buy your pick & mix sweets from?  Or coincidence (nah, that's impossible .... :P )

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/davidgregory/2010/01/i_see_a_pattern_emerging.html

 

 

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John Allanson

(Cough..Cough!) Surely if they predated Pythagoras by (let's say)a good few years, it wasn't Pythagoras' theorem!

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CloudSix
On 22. 06. 2018. at 5:12 PM, acute said:

I wouldn't call it a "theorem".  It hasn't been conclusively proved to my satisfaction. ;)

What do you mean?

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acute
2 minutes ago, CloudSix said:

What do you mean?

I was joking about it being called a 'theorem' while many proven theories are still known as a 'theory'.

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CloudSix
3 minutes ago, acute said:

I was joking about it being called a 'theorem' while many proven theories are still known as a 'theory'.

Oh, my bad then :rofl:.

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Harte
1 hour ago, acute said:

I was joking about it being called a 'theorem' while many proven theories are still known as a 'theory'.

There are no theories in Mathematics.

Harte

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sirfiroth
52 minutes ago, Harte said:

There are no theories in Mathematics.

Harte

And Albert Einstein said: "In so far as theories of mathematics speak about reality, they are not certain, and in so far as they are certain, they do not speak about reality."

Jacob

 

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Harte

He also said: " Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."

Wouldn't take his word on mathematical subjects.

Harte

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TripGun

Since this application of the theorem came before the official naming then I vote to rename the theorem: 

Stonehengios theorem perhaps or Druid math-magic

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Harte

It's not named after Pythagorus because he invented it. It's named after him because he was the first (to their knowledge at the time) to prove it.

The idea of a mathematical proof wasn't a part of earlier Mathematics.

Harte

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