Italian mathematician and physician Gerolamo Cardano dies
The Italian mathematician and physician Gerolamo Cardano died on September 21, 1576
Havana Cuba. – The Italian mathematician and physician Gerolamo Cardano, was born on September 24, 1501. He was the author of one of the first modern autobiographies. He is also known for being the first to publish a complete general solution of the equation of third degree and of the equation of fourth degree, and for his contributions to mechanics, such as the cardan suspension that bears his name.
Today he is known for his many interests. Its original texts, written in Latin, are the subject of laborious interpretations. Among his books are the two encyclopedias of general knowledge that he published: De subtilitate rerum (1550) and De varietate rerum (1559). First of all, Cardano is notable for his algebra work. In 1539 he published his book of arithmetic Practica arithmetica et mensurandi singular. He published the solutions to the third and fourth degree equations in his Ars magna dated 1545. The solution to a particular case of the cubic equation x 3 + ax = b, was communicated to him through Niccolò Fontana (better known as Tartaglia. In reality, the discovery of the solution of the cubic equations is not due to either Cardano or Tartaglia (he had found a first formula Scipione dal Ferro around 1515) and today the honesty of Cardano that he recognized it in his book is proven. Fourth grade was solved by a Cardano disciple named Lodovico Ferrari.In his presentation, he revealed what are now known as imaginary numbers.
His book on games of chance, Liber de ludo aleae, written in the 1560s but published posthumously in 1663, is the first serious treatise on probability addressing methods of some effectiveness. He also introduced the Cardano grid, a cryptographic tool, in 1550. Cardano made contributions to hydrodynamics, relying on 15th century schemes, and maintained that perpetual motion is impossible except in celestial bodies. Likewise, it developed a device that allows to preserve horizontality by means of two axes that rotate at an angle, used to stabilize the compasses on ships, called gimbal suspension. Gerolamo invented the transmission system between two axes that bears his name, the cardan or universal joint.
In the field of optics, his work De subtilitate rerum advises using a lens in the camera obscura to improve the sharpness of the image, considering him the inventor of this device, since at least it is the first known testimony in this regard. almost three hundred years before the appearance of photography. As a physician in Renaissance medicine, Cardano was the first to describe typhoid fever, highlighting his interest in various medical subjects and his comments on Galen and Hippocrates. His Contradicentium medicorum, from 1536, addresses issues of discussion in 16th century medicine. His The Book of Dreams is the last dream-criticism with ancient roots (which had begun with Artemidor in the second century) and medieval, passed through the critical filter of the Renaissance, which makes it a very valuable text; being quoted by Freud in his Interpretation of dreams (1900).
His two biographical books, My life, and My books (his autobibliography) are two masterpieces, which also make an excellent portrait of what a 16th century sage could have been, and the appreciation of his books. His Opera omnia was published in Lyon in the 17th century, and has had a facsimile edition in the 20th century.
Gerolamo Cardano, died on September 21, 1576.