# Analytic Geometry

## Historical Development Of Analytic Geometry

During the seventeenth century, finding the solution to problems involving curves became important to industry and science. In **astronomy**, the slow acceptance of the **heliocentric theory** (Sun-centered theory) of planetary **motion** required mathematical formulas that would predict elliptical orbits. Other areas such as **optics**, navigation, and the military required formulas for things such as determining the curvature of a **lens**, the shortest route to a destination, and the trajectory of a cannon ball. Although the Greeks had developed hundreds of theorems related to curves, these did not provide quantitative values so they were not useful for practical applications. Consequently, many seventeenth-century mathematicians devoted their attention to the quantitative evaluation of curves. Two French mathematicians, Rene Descartes (1596-1650) and Pierre de Fermat (1601-1665) independently developed the foundations for analytic geometry. Descartes was first to publish his methods in an appendix titled *La geometrie* of his book *Discours de la methode* (1637).

## Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: *Ambiguity - Ambiguity* to *Anticolonialism in Middle East - Ottoman Empire And The Mandate System*Analytic Geometry - Historical Development Of Analytic Geometry, Cartesian Coordinate System, Distance Between Two Points, Algebraic Equations Of Lines