In 1585, Steven, in his The Art of Tenths (De Thiende), aka La Disme (French) or Decimal Arithmetic, introduced the “decimal system” of mathematics, wherein he showed how to perform all computations whatsoever by whole numbers without fractions, by the principles of common arithmetic, namely: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Steven defined the decimal point as a zero with a circle around it: , meaning ten to the power of zero: 100, , meaning ten to the power of negative one: 10-1, , meaning ten to the power of negative two: 10-2, equal 10-3, equal 10-4, and so on. Hence, e.g., a number such as 0.04 would was written by Stevin as:
The following is one example of the Stevin decimal notation:
Stevin in short, printed little circles around the exponents of the different powers of one-tenth.
In 1586, Stevin, in his Statics and Hydrostatics, gave the first complete statement of the impossibility of perpetual motion, and also derived the notion of the vectorial decomposition of forces, according to which force that must be exerted along the line of greatest slope to support a given weight on an inclined plane.
Stevin was the teacher of Isaac Beeckman.
Quotes | On
The following are related quotes:
- “Historians consider Steven’s Elements of Equilibrium (1585) to have contributed significantly to the establishment of classical mechanics, but at that time the public was not very much aware of this treatise because he neglected toe obligatory Latin language and wrote the book in Dutch. Stevin came to the idea, independent of da Vinci, of the absolute impossibility of perpetual motion Moreover, he not only suggested a theory but also applied it to practical problems of statics.”
Quotes | By
The following are quotes by Stevin:
- “Disme [decimals] is a kind of arithmeticke [arithmetic], invented by the tenth progression, consisting in characters of cyphers; whereby a certain number is described, and by which also all accounts which happen to humane affayres [affairs], are dispatched by whole numbers, without fractions or broken numbers.”
- — Simon Stevin (c.1590), Publication
- Alekseev, Georgij. (1978). Energy and Entropy (pg. 63). Mir.
- Simon Steven – Hmolpedia 2020.