Diophantus of Alexandria


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Diophantus of Alexandria

 

(probably third century B.C.). Ancient Greek mathematician.

Part of Diophantus’ mathematical treatise Arithmetica has been preserved (six books out of 13), in which solutions are given for problems most of which reduce to indeterminate equations of up to the fourth degree. A solution is sought in rational positive numbers (negative numbers do not occur in Diophantus’ works). Diophantus used an abbreviated notation of words to designate an unknown and its powers and the equals sign. He provided skilled solutions of algebraic and theoretical numerical problems without providing general methods of solution. His works were a starting point for investigations by P. de Fermat, L. Euler, K. Gauss, and other mathematicians.

REFERENCE

Kol’man, E. Istoriia matematiki v drevnosti. Moscow, 1961.
References in periodicals archive ?
We pick up the story again with Diophantus of Alexandria who probably lived in the middle of the third century of our era (around AD 250).
Nearly 2,000 years ago, for instance, Diophantus of Alexandria observed in his book Arithmetica that 65 can be written in two different ways as the sum of two squares: [4.