Who is Euclid

Euclid of Alexandria

Surname: Euclid of Alexandria

Born: around 365 BC BC (location unknown)

Died: around 300 BC BC (probably in Alexandria, Egypt)

Teaching / research areas: Geometry, number theory, optics, astronomy

The Greek Euclid, who lived in the 4th century BC, is considered the "father" of geometry. His geometric principles formed the basis of geometry in general until the 19th century. In his main work "Elements" (Greek: Stoicheia) he systematized the mathematical knowledge of his time. For 2000 years the "elements" were the most important mathematical textbook of all.

life and work

Almost nothing is known about Euclid's life except that he taught and researched in Alexandria under the reign of Ptolemais I. For this purpose, mathematical treatises have been handed down by him that are second to none, above all his most famous work "Elements?" In this treatise consisting of 13 volumes, Euclid summarized the arithmetic and geometrical knowledge of his time and systematized them. The exemplary structure of the work and the The strict derivation of statements from a limited number of definitions, postulates and axioms were groundbreaking and made the book the most important textbook of mathematics for over 2000 years.

Contributions to mathematics

Most striking was Euclid's influence on geometry. The so-called today Euclidean geometry is the familiar geometry of plane and space and up until the 19th century it was the only conceivable geometry. Euclid also contributed to the development of arithmetic, for example the proof of the existence of an infinite number of prime numbers (also as Euclid's theorem known) or the Euclidean algorithm, by means of which the greatest common divisor of two natural numbers can be calculated. Euclid also wrote on optics and mathematical music theory.