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An analysis of the text and tables in Georg Joachim Rheticus' Canon doctrinae triangulorum

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
2023-04-14
Authors/Contributors
Abstract
Georg Rheticus' Canon doctrinae triangulorum (1551) challenges traditional approaches to trigonometry in Europe by offering the first conceptualization of the subject which examines the relationships between the side lengths of a right triangle. Rheticus' 14-page trigonometric table, built around three "species" of triangles, contains all six of the modern trigonometric functions laid out in semi-quadrantal arrangement for arguments of every 10'. Analysis of this table reveals underlying computational methods to be based in mathematics pertaining to similar planar triangles, consistent with the hypotheses of previous scholars. The first complete Latin to English translation of the 6-page dialogue following the table clarifies Rheticus' intention for this work, putting it in conversation with previous scholarship by Ptolemy, Geber, and Copernicus. The content of the dialogue also offers insight into the development of Rheticus' triangles, the structure of his table, and possible precedence claims regarding the 10 modern identities of spherical trigonometry.
Document
Extent
155 pages.
Identifier
etd22443
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Permissions
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Archibald, Tom
Language
English
Member of collection
Download file Size
etd22443.pdf 14.43 MB

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