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Information about Pythagoras

Published on March 21, 2014

Author: swiftsonya7



An overview of Pythagoras' life

Aim  To gain an understanding about Pythagoras and PythagorasTheorem swift sonya

Activity 1  Can your 3 squares fit together to create a right angled triangle in the centre?

Compare…  the area of the largest square with the sum of the areas of the two smaller squares.

When might Pythagoras Theorem be useful in real life?

Pythagoras  570 – 490 BC  Born on the island of Samos, Greece  Modern view of Pythagoras – Mathematician and scientist  Traditional view of Pythagoras - Philosopher Deeply religious (he created a way of life) Mystical

Pythagoras’ Teachers  Anaximander – a ‘scientist and philosopher’. He believed that the world consisted of one element the ‘Unbounded’ and it was infinite, timeless and indestructible.  Pherecydes – a ‘philosopher and teller of fairy tales’. He believed in metempsychosis (the transmigration of souls).

Pythagoras’ Travels  During his travels, Pythagoras learned about mathematical developments and religion.  He travelled to Egypt*, Babylonia*, and maybe as far as India.  Pythagoras eventually settled in Croton, a Greek town in Southern Italy, around the age of 40 where he did most of his philosophical work.  *Note: Before Pythagoras, Ancient Egyptians could create a right angled triangle (lengths = 3, 4, 5) with a piece of rope with 12 knots in it. Ancient Babylonians also knew about the relationship of the 3, 4, 5 triangle!

Pythagorean Brotherhood  Pythagoras founded the Pythagorean Brotherhood, a religious and secretive group with around 600 members.  All is number was the fundamental principle.  Members consisted of two groups the ‘mathematicians’ and the ‘listeners’.  Pythagoras was the leader and his followers became his disciples.  If a secret was revealed the punishment was death.

Religion  All is number – numbers were the answer to everything in the universe and had deep religious significance.  (all numbers had characteristics – e.g. odd numbers were male)  Metempsychosis – all souls have eternal life.  The pentagram was their secret sign.  The dodecahedron was the shape of the universe.  Forbidden to eat beans.

Proof  Did Pythagoras create the famousTheorem?  Sources suggest that he probably didn’t but that he did find the proof that it works.  Pythagoras created proof in mathematics, irrational numbers and 4 platonic solids. (tetrahedron, octahedron, cube and dodecahedron)  There is no written evidence of Pythagoras’ work (although there are fakes!) Platonic Solids

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