The World of the Pythagorean Theorem
The Pythagorean Theorem...perhaps the most famous idea in mathematics. But, what do you really know about it?
To improve your understanding of the Pythagorean Theorem, consider exploring these five texts:
These should not only "properly" educate you, but even advance you to expert status in all things Pythagorean Theorem. And, the journey (and glory) will be enjoyable.
- Eli Maor's The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000-Year History (2007) is the best resource I know of when I want to know any historical tidbit...as it is quite comprehensive and easy to read.
- Alfred Posamentier's The Pythagorean Theorem: The Story of its Power and Beauty (2010) provides the mathematical side of things: proofs, applications, connections, recreations, etc.
- Frank Swetz and T. Kao's Was Pythagoras Chinese?: An Examination of Right Triangle Theory in Ancient China (1977) is an older text that is still available (a good thing!)...because it removes some of the Eurocentric aspect of mathematics by showing that the "Pythagorean. Theorem" was known prior to Pythagoras' time, as evidenced in ancient Chinese mathematics texts.
- Robert and Ellen Kaplan's Hidden Harmonies: The Lives and Times of the Pythagorean Theorem (1940, 1972) overviews the history, proofs, applications, and interesting extensions.
- Loomis' The Pythagorean Proposition (1940, 1972) provides about 300 different proofs, grouped into four categories...almost enough for one per day! The book is no longer is print but is available on eBay occasionally and as a download.
Note: Other resource texts on the Pythagorean Theorem exist, but these are the ones I know the best and use the most. If you have suggestions regarding others, please send me a note.