Fermat's tangent method

Fermat's tangent method

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fermat's tangent method. Diagram and text from 'Varia Opera Mathematica' by the French mathematician Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665), showing his method for for finding the tangent of a curve. This method involves finding the subtangent for the point, which is described as the segment on the x-axis (vertical line) between the foot of the ordinate drawn to the point of contact (C) and the intersection of the tangent line with the x-axis (E). This page is from the 1679 edition.

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Keywords: 1600s, 1679, 17th century, analytic geometry, book, curve, diagram, fermat's tangent method, geometry, historical, history, latin, mathematical, mathematics, page, parabola, pierre de fermat, tangent, text, varia opera mathematica, writing

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