Algebra: The Search for an Elusive Formula
On the night of February 12, 1535, Niccolò Tartaglia, of Brescia, found the solution to the following vexing problem: “A man sells a sapphire for 500 ducats, making a profit of the cube root of his capital. How much is his profit?” This triumph helped him gain victory over Antonio Maria Fiore, who had posed this problem to challengers as part of a public contest. Besides fame, the prize for the winner included thirty banquets prepared by the loser for Tartaglia and his friends. (Tartaglia chose to decline this part of the prize.) Such contests were part of academic life in sixteenth-century Italy, as competitors vied for university positions and sponsorship from the nobility [93, p. 329].
KeywordsQuadratic Equation Galois Group Galois Theory Geometric Algebra Splitting Field
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