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MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MIDDLE TEMPLE LIBRARY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Questi et inventioni diverse by Niccolo Tartaglia. Fold-out plate from the publication 'Questi et inventioni diverse', 1546, by the Italian mathematician Niccolo Tartaglia (1499-1557). Tartaglia's greatest mathematical achievement was the solution to cubic equations. He was not initially credited with this, as his friend Cardano betrayed his confidence and published the solution as his own. Tartaglia's main enthusiasm was ballistics. His treatise on gunnery, Nova Scientia (1537; New Science ) showed how the path of a projectile is curved and that a projectile travels the furthest distance when fired at an angle of 45 degrees to the ground.
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