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Astro*Dictionary by Michael Erlewine





1 article for "Rheticus"

Rheticus [Astro*Index]


(1514-1576) German mathematician. Born at Feldkirch, Austria; died at Cassovia, Hungary.

Born Georg Joachim von Lauchen, he chose his Latin name after the ancient name of the province of his birth (Rhaetia). He was the first mathematician to relate trigonometric functions to angles, rather than arcs of circles, and developed trigonometric tables which surpassed previous works. Appointed professor of mathematics at Wittenberg at the age of 22. He studied the manuscript of Copernicus at Frombork in 1539, and received a 10-week intensive course from the latter on the new theory. Then, he published a summary of the theory, taking care not to mention the name of Copernicus. The older Copernicus agreed to publish his great manuscript, persuaded by the younger Rheticus.

See also:
♦ Copernicus, Nicolas



Astro*Index Copyright © 1997 Michael Erlewine