Stevin, Simon

Stevin, Simon

(sē`môn stəvīn`), 1548–1620, Dutch engineer and mathematician. His experiments in hydrostatics showed that the pressure exerted by a liquid is dependent only on its vertical height and not on the shape of the liquid's container, and demonstrated the principle of the hydraulic press. He probably anticipated GalileoGalileo
(Galileo Galilei) , 1564–1642, great Italian astronomer, mathematician, and physicist. By his persistent investigation of natural laws he laid foundations for modern experimental science, and by the construction of astronomical telescopes he greatly enlarged
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's experiments with falling bodies. Stevin is also credited with the introduction of decimals into common usage.

Stevin, Simon


Born 1548 in Bruges; died 1620 in The Hague. Dutch scholar and engineer.

Stevin began teaching at the University of Leiden in 1583. In 1592 he obtained a post as engineer and then became commissioner of public works and quartermaster general for Maurice of Nassau. In 1600 he organized a school of engineering at the University of Leiden in which he gave lectures on mathematics. His work De Thiende (The Tenth, 1585) was devoted to the decimal system of measures and decimal fractions, which he had introduced into Europe.

In mechanics, Stevin provided a proof for the law of equilibrium of a body on an inclined plane based on the impossibility of perpetual motion, and he formulated the theorem of the triangle of forces. Stevin also wrote works on hydrostatics and navigation and on technical problems and problems of military engineering.


The Principal Works of Simon Stevin, vols. 1–5, Amsterdam, 1955–66.
In Russian translation:
“Nachala gidrostatiki.” In the collection Nachala gidrostatiki: Arkhimed, Stevin, Galilei, Paskal’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1932.


Steichen, M. Mémoire sur la vie et les travaux de Simon Stevin. Brussels, 1846.
Depau, R. Simon Stevin. Brussels, 1942.


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