In details

Simon Stevin


Simon Stevin He was a Flemish mathematician who was born in 1548 and died in 1620. It was as a tax collector that Simon Stevin began his professional career, but later chose to join the University of Leiden.

It can be said that the study of hydrostatics began with Stevin. It was he who demonstrated that the pressure a liquid exerts on a surface depends only on the column height of the liquid and the surface area, regardless of the size or shape of the container. He was also the first to find that two bodies of different weights, when released at the same time, hit the ground simultaneously. (This experience is often attributed to Galileo, who, however, only analyzed it better.)

Stevin also devoted himself to several other areas of knowledge: he calculated the magnetic declination (angular difference between the magnetic north pole and the geographic north pole) in several places; geometrically demonstrated the impossibility of operating a perpetual motorcycle (a mechanical device believed to be able to work infinitely without requiring energy); translated Greek works; In addition, he designed the first front-wheel drive vehicle: a sail-powered wagon.

As a mathematician, Stevin created a notation for writing fractional decimal numbers, which later resulted in the use of commas. The exact date of Stevin's death is not known. It is only reported that he married consensibly late, at age 64, and left four children.

Bibliography: Learning Physics, Publisher Scipione.