(real name Georg Joachim von Lauchen). Born Feb. 16, 1514, in Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, Austria; died Dec. 4, 1576, in Kassa (Košice). German astronomer and mathematician. Student and follower of N. Copernicus.
Rhäticus was a professor at the University of Wittenberg from 1537 to 1542. Between 1539 and 1541 he lived in Frombork, where he studied the manuscript of Copernicus’ treatise De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. In 1541, Rhäticus published a concise account of Copernicus’ ideas, De libris revolutionum … Copernici… narratio prima … (First Account of the Revolutionary Book by Copernicus). Rhäticus persuaded Copernicus to agree to the printing of the treatise. The mathematical section was published by Rhäticus in 1542.
Rhäticus also worked on the calculation of tables of trigonometric functions. His Canon doctrinae triangulorum (Canon of the Doctrine of the Triangle) was published in 1551. His ten-place tables remained unfinished and were published posthumously in 1596 with a preface in which a number of cases of the solution of spherical triangles were considered.
REFERENCESBerry, A. Kratkaia istoriia astronomii, 2nd ed. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946. (Translated from English.)
Cantor, M. Vorlesungen über Geschichte der Mathematik, vol. 2. Leipzig, 1913.