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They estimated the value of pi as 3 1/8, which is about a 0.6 percent error.
Stephen Hawking mentions that according to the Vikings, the sun and the moon are being chased by two wolves, Skoll and Hati.
When either wolf successfully catches their prey, an eclipse occurs.
They believed that the movement of the heavenly bodies forecasted some terrestrial event.
Since the reign of Nabonassar (747 BCE), the Babylonians kept complete lists of eclipses and by 700 BCE, it was already known that solar eclipses could only be possible during new moons and lunar eclipses only during full moons.
The Nordics made as much noise as they could to scare off the wolves, so they could rescue the victims: Hawking goes on saying that people eventually realized that the sun and the moon would emerge from the eclipse regardless of whether they made noise to rescue the victims.
In societies where they had record keeping on celestial events, they must have noticed after some time that eclipses do not happen at random, but rather in regular patterns that repeat themselves.If the sun sets in the west, it always rises again the next morning in the east. We can do science, and with it we can improve our lives.(Carl Sagan, 59) The regular occurrence of natural events encouraged the development of some scientific disciplines.However, we have no evidence that the Babylonians proved it formally, since their mathematics rested on empirical knowledge rather than formal proof.It was in astronomy where Babylonians showed a remarkable talent, and magic, mysticism, astrology, and divination were its main drivers.There is an interesting quote from Carl Sagan about the scientific attitude: If we lived on a planet where nothing ever changed, there would be little to do. But we live in an in-between universe, where things change, but according to patterns, rules, or as we call them, laws of nature.If I throw a stick up in the air, it always falls down.The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus (also known as the Ahmes Papyrus) is an ancient mathematical treatise, dating back to approximately 1650 BCE.This work explains, using several examples, how to calculate the area of a field, the capacity of a barn, and it also deals with algebraic equations of the first degree.Despite their superstitions, Egyptian priests encouraged the development of many scientific disciplines, especially astronomy and mathematics.The construction of the pyramids and other astonishing monuments would have been impossible without a highly developed mathematical knowledge.