This book gives a comprehensive picture of the activities and the creative heritage of Simon Stevin, who made outstanding contributions to various fields of science, in particular physics and mathematics.
This book gives a comprehensive picture of the activities and the creative heritage of Simon Stevin, who made outstanding contributions to various fields of science, in particular physics and mathematics. Among the striking spectrum of his ingenious achievements, it is worth emphasizing that Simon Stevin is rightly considered as the father of the system of decimal fractions as it is in use today. Stevin also urged the universal use of decimal fractions along with standardization in coinage, measures and weights. This was a most visionary proposal. Stevin was the first since Archimedes to make a significant new contribution to statics and hydrostatics. He truly was "homo universalis." The impact of Stevin's work has been multilateral and worldwide, including literature (William Shakespeare), science (from Christian Huygens to Richard Feynman), politics (Thomas Jefferson) and many other fields. Thomas Jefferson, together with Alexander Hamilton and Robert Morris, advocated introducing the decimal monetary units in the USA with reference to the book "De Thiende" by S. Stevin and in particular to the English translation of the book: "Disme: The Art of Tenths" by Robert Norton. In accordance with the title of this translation, the name of the first silver coin issued in the USA in 1792 was 'disme' (since 1837 the spelling changed to ('dime'). It was considered as a symbol of national independence of the USA.