JF Ptak Science Books
The author of this manuscript, Charles Fisher, took a solitary pleasure in calculating the square roots of numbers from 2 to 589, not bothering to write down the 24 perfect squares to 576. (The sqrt being r^{2} = x for every non-negative real number x.)From the few bits that I have checked the man seems to have done a good job back there in the 1830’s. (Note: we'll deal with square root of 3 at another time...)
I cannot determine where this book was written or who Mr. Fisher was, though it is possible that he was a (Baptist) Minister from the few short textual notes that pop up here and there.
His work is pretty elegant. Take for example his solution (and proof) for the square root (hereafter sqrt(x)) 309,
which the calculator living under this page says is 17.578395831246947 Mr. Fisher’s answer is 17 10/17 = 799/17=89401/989=309 100/989, and after some more involved arithmetic comes t the lovely proof number of
4121989960986322995025 /13339773336525317136 or
309.00000000000000000007496379247
Which is getting pretty close.
The only note that Mr. Fisher makes on his calculations is for the sqrt(193), which he notes as “the hardest number to find the approximate root of any between 1 and 200. I have found it after repeated trials and have this evening wrote it in as above. March 1^{st}, 1833. CF.”
- MATHEMATICS Manuscript; the work of Charles Fisher. Collection of work on square roots, from 2 to 589. 13.5 x 8.5 inches. 140pp. All gathered together, bound, in very thick paper wrappers. Most of the manuscript is still bound, though several "signatures" are now loose within the binding. A good, solid copy. $1500.00
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