Pythagoras is one of the most famous mathematicians. He was born in Samos, Greece around 582 B.C. and he died around 475 B.C. Although he made many important contributions to math we do not know much about him. We do not have anything that he wrote because he was the leader of a secret society where they didnít write down what they did. All that we have about Pythagoras are a few biographies from a long time ago.
Some accounts state that Pythagoras went to Egypt in about 535 B.C. to learn more about mathematics and astronomy. In Egypt Pythagoras visited many of the temples and talked to the priests, but he was not allowed in any of the temples except for one. In 525 B.C. the king of Persia invaded Egypt and Polycrates sent 40 ships to help the Persians invade Egypt. During the invasion Pythagoras was captured and taken to Babylon. After Polycrates and the king of Persia died Pythagoras went back to Samos, but nobody knows how he was freed.
Pythagorus studied pure mathematics. He didnít try to solve mathematical problems. Instead, he was interested in the concept of numbers and geometric figures. He was also interested in properties of numbers; such as, odd and even numbers. He is best known for his famous geometry theorem known as the Pythagorean Theorem.
The Pythagorean Theorem is that if you have a right triangle the two sides that form the right angle are equal to the other side when each number is squared (multiplied by itself).
The equation for the Pythagorean Theorem is:
Side1≤ + Side 2≤ = Side 3≤
For example, if you have a right triangle with sides of three, four, and five, you square three which is nine, you square four which is sixteen, and you square five which is twenty-five. Then you add nine and sixteen and you get twenty-five which is what the other side is squared.
3≤ + 4≤ = 5≤
9 + 16 = 25
This proves that the Pythagorean Theorem works!
You can use the Pythagorean Theorem in everyday life. It can be used on a baseball field to determine distances. Since the infield is a square with right angles you can use the Pythagorean Theorem to determine the distance from home plate on a baseball field to second base if you know the distance from first to second base.
Pythagoras also experimented with music. He found a relationship between music and math. Pythagoras found the relationship one day when he was walking past a blacksmith shop and heard the hammers hit the anvil. When Pythagoras heard the hammers hit the anvil he noticed that each hammer made a different sound according to the weight of the hammer. So, the weight of the hammer (i.e. number) decides the sound the hammer will make. What Pythagoras found out was that math controls the tone of music.