We should have been on Mars already

Air Temperature 15ºC
Relative Humidity 78%
Wind Velocity 1.2 m/s
Wind Direction 007º

Was up watching a program on PBS about Archimedes a few nights ago (NOVA) (GBH's link) .They said that Archimedes was the first true discoverer of Calculus and also found the ratio for pi. Had his work been preserved and not destroyed in the dark ages we could have been on Mars by now. Calculus being the building block for everything from computers to space veichles and used in astrophysics.

Amazing! The world has generally agreed that Sir Isaac Newton laid the foundation for calculus. But if the scientists of the renaissance had known about Archimedes' writings we would now, in the year 2004 be at least 100 years ahead in science and technology.


The program is described here.

Many of Archimedes' works disappeared during the Middle Ages, but some survived to help inspire the scientific revolution in the 16th and 17th centuries. One document that seemed irretrievably lost was his treatise The Method, which reputedly told how he achieved his brilliant results—secrets he revealed nowhere else...

Cool huh?

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