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Pythagoras' Theorem

  Pythagoras\' theorem is one of the best-known results in Euclidean geometry, but the theorem attributed to Pythagoras (c. 560c. - 480 BCE) was in fact known throughout the world before he introduced it to Greece. For a right-angled triangle (one where the largest angle is 90 degrees), the sum of the squares of the lengths of the two shortest sides is equal to the square of the length of the longest side. This result was discovered by Egyptian and Chinese mathematicians, and is an example of the way in which the same mathematical results were developed independently throughout the world, thus demonstrating that mathematics is not purely a development of Western culture. This is something important to those mathematicians who feel that logical thought is universal, and that the language of symbolic logic is not culturally based. The result has also formed the basis of the definition of length used in co-ordinate geometry in two dimensions. SMcL  



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