Petrus Apianus's Pascal's Triangle, 1527

Petrus Apianus's Pascal's Triangle, 1527

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Petrus Apianus's Pascal's Triangle (lower left) on the title page of Kauffmans Rechnung (Petrus Apianus, Ingolstadt, 1527). Although it was known to earlier mathematicians, this book and its title page was the first published appearance of what was later called Pascal's Triangle. The property of the triangle is that each number is the sum of the two numbers directly above it. Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) showed that it could be used to determine the co-efficients of a binomial series: this is the extended form of the expression (x + y) to the power k. Pascal also showed that the Triangle could be used to find the number of combinations when selecting k objects from n objects. For the triangle, see image V560/024.

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