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Name: burbank school
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
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Date: Around 1995


Question:
Who started the idea of powers?


Replies:
Powers are just a notational convenience and have been around for a VERY long time: Diophantus was using an exponent by the 3rd century AD. It was Descartes (1637) who ". . . put all positive integral powers on the uniform notational basis familiar today." And Wallis (1655) who started using fractional and negative powers.

"The Development of Mathematics", E. T. Bell, McGraw-Hill, 1945, p. 129

hawley



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