General Knowledge Trivia Quiz

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General Knowledge

New from Fibonacci

The great medieval mathematician known as Fibonacci produced a series of important works in the early 13th century. One important innovation in his writings was…

A) Failing to include a specifically religious preface
B) Using Arabic numeric notation instead of Roman
C) Using his native Italian instead of Latin or Greek
D) Using specially trained scribes to ensure accuracy

Your answer — A) Failing to include a specifically religious preface — was incorrect.

Fibonacci (c.1175-c.1240), also known as Leonardo of Pisa, is best known today as the inventor of the sequence of numbers that starts with a pair of ones and continues under the rule that each new term is the sum of the previous two (thus: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13…). Despite its appealing simplicity, the Fibonacci sequence has proven to be a fertile area of study even for modern mathematicians. Fibonacci’s book Liber Abbaci was not the very first to introduce Arabic notation to Western Europe, but no one before had comprehensively demonstrated its superiority over the Roman system. The new numerals soon came into general use, despite resistance from merchants who were alarmed at the ease with which a zero could be converted to a nine by an unscrupulous hand. Nevertheless, arithmetic notation remained rather awkward: centuries would pass before even the signs for the four basic operations (plus, minus, times, divide) were adopted.

Something for music students...

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