Essay by ChuckyHigh School, 11th gradeA, January 1997

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Pythagoras was a very significant person in the history of the world. He made

many contributions to the fields of math, music, and astronomy. Pythagoras's teachings

and beliefs that were once taught by him in his own school in ancient Greece, are still

taught today.

The thing that Pythagoras is probably the most famous for is the Pythagorean

Theorem. The Pythagorean Theorem is used in the field of mathematics and it states the

following: the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle is equal to the sum of the

squares of the two other sides. This means that if one makes a square (with all sides

equal in length) out of a triangle with a right angle, the areas of the squares made from

the two shorter sides, when added together, equal the area of the square made from the

long side. Another geometrical discovery made by Pythagoras is that the diagonal of a

square is not a rational multiple of its side.

The latter discovery proved the existence of

irrational numbers and therefore changed the entire Greek mathematical belief that whole

numbers and their ratios could account for geometrical properties.

Another contribution of Pythagoras and his follower is that of music. Pythagoras

essentially created music in that he discovered the way it works. Pythagoras noticed that

vibrating strings produce harmonious tones when the ratios of the lengths of the strings

are whole numbers. After making this discovery, he found that these same ratios could

be extended further to other instruments.

Pythagoras was one of the first to teach that the Earth was at the center of the

universe. He was also one of the first to teach that the world was round, an idea not to

be proven for almost another one thousand years. Pythagoras also...