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Raphson, Josephlocked

(fl. 1689–1712)
  • David J. Thomas

Extract

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 ...

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Royal Society, London