Fray Juan de Ortega’s approximations, 500 years after

Por • 9 dic, 2012 • Sección: sociologia

Manuel Benito, Jose Javier Escribano, Emilio Fernández, Mercedes Sánchez

Abstract: In 1512, on December 30, the first edition of Fray Juan de Ortega’s Arithmetic was published in Lyon. The last chapter, titled «Rules of Geometry», deals with lower approximations of 14 square roots. In later editions of the Arithmetic on 1534, 1537 and 1542 in Seville, these values are replaced by upper approximations. Twelve of them verify the Pell’s equation, and so they are optimal. At this moment nobody knows the way they were obtained. In this paper we show how these approximations can be obtained through a method consistent with the mathematical knowledge at that time.

arXiv:1212.1125v1 [math.HO]

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