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(păp`əs), fl. c.300, Greek mathematician of Alexandria. He recorded and enlarged on the results of his predecessors, including Euclid and Apollonius of Perga, in his Mathematical Collection (8 books; date conjectural). The six and a half extant books, edited and translated into Latin by Commandinus (1588), stimulated a revival of geometry in the 17th cent.; Descartes expounded several of his problems. The collection was reedited by Frederick Hultsch (1876–78). Pappus' other works include a commentary on Ptolemy's Almagest.


See T. L. Heath, A Manual of Greek Mathematics (1931).



a winglike growth or very large trichome on the fruits and seeds of many plants. The pappus assists in the spreading of the fruits and seeds by the wind.



(Pappus of Alexandria). Years of birth and death unknown. Greek mathematician of the second half of the third century.

Pappus was the author of Mathematical Collections in eight books, only the last six of which are extant. The first two books were devoted to arithmetic, and the third through fifth books deal primarily with geometry. The sixth is on astronomy, the seventh contains a commentary on the works of Apollonius of Perga, including the latter’s Conic Sections, and the eighth deals with mechanics. Pappus’ work, a compendium of many works that have since been lost, is a valuable source for the history of Hellenistic mathematics.


Pappi Alexandrini collectionis quae supersunt, vols. 1–3. Edited by F. Hultsch. Berlin, 1876–78.


Heiberg, J. L. Estestvoznanie i matematika v klassicheskoi drevnosti. Moscow-Leningrad, 1936. (Translated from German.)
Sarton, G. A. A History of Science. Cambridge, Mass., 1952.



the aggregate of hairs or scales in a ring of one, two, or more rows on the apex of the inferior ovary and fruit of most plants of the families Compositae, Valerianaceae, and some others. The pappus helps in the distribution of seeds and fruits by means of wind, water, and animals.


An appendage or group of appendages consisting of a modified perianth on the ovary or fruit of various seed plants; adapted to dispersal by wind and other means.
References in periodicals archive ?
Succession stage/category Fruit type Specific Seed morphological size, mm adaptation Pioneers Meconopsis racemosa Capsule No adaptation 1-2 The early stage/dominant species Arenaria delavayi Capsule No adaptation Meconopsis horridula Capsule No adaptation Common species Draba oreodoxa Silicle No adaptation 4 Cremanthodium smithianum Achene Pappus 4 Polygonum macrophyllum Achene No adaptation 2.5-3 Carex capilliformis Nutlet No adaptation 2 The Middle stage/Dominant species Arenaria delavayi Capsule No adaptation Kobresia fragilis Nutlet No adaptation 2-2.4 Pedicularis rupicola Capsule No adaptation 3 Carex capilliformis Nutlet No adaptation 2 Carex kansuensis Nutlet No adaptation 2 Polygonum macrophyllum Achene No adaptation 2.5-3 Common species Pedicularis sp.
The time, which has been saved by the special SFIP function can be used, to show applications of Pappus' Theorem to Euclidean geometry.
Fajemirokun reports to Pappus and continues to serve on the GCLT.
The whole site is usually devoid of vegetation although a mass flush of soft feather pappus grass Enneapogon cenchroides can occur following rainfall after long periods of drought.
Propagation happens exclusively by dimorphic cypselas: peripheral ones are elliptically shaped with membranous wings from female florets, while the central ones, from monoecious florets, are lanceolate shaped whose pappus are of two stout awns (Kissmann and Groth, 1992).
Drawing inspiration from Pappus's account of the stages of mathematical problem-solving in particular, Newton adopted a philosophy of mathematics according to which the analysis of a problem reveals that a given problem can be solved, and indicates how a solution might be achieved, whereas the synthesis offers the genuine solution.
Half a millennium later, Pappus, another Greek mathematician, inscribed a succession of ever-decreasing circles inside the arbelos.