Show Summary Details

Page of
PRINTED FROM Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single article in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

Raphson, Josephlocked

(fl. 1689–1712)
  • David J. Thomas


Raphson, Joseph (fl. 1689–1712), mathematician and writer, was possibly born in 1648, though this date, found in some standard biographies, must be regarded as speculative. No details of his early life have been found.

Since the middle of the sixteenth century, mathematicians had been able to solve analytically simple polynomial equations of a single variable up to the fourth order, usually known simply as quartic equations. More complicated equations were generally intractable. Mathematicians tried to resolve these using numerical methods, the standard but slow one being that of ...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription

Cambridge University Library, department of manuscripts and university archives