|Alternative reference number||CLP/24/11 p2|
|Title||Diagram, The Parisian problem by John Collins|
|Date||December 1667/January 1668|
|Description||Diagram pertaining to John Collins's solution to the ‘French’ or ‘Parisian’ problem set as a challenge by François Dulaurens. Shows drawings of circles with lines crossing into them, and angles within these, alonside mathematical calculations.|
The problem, as understood by Wallis, was as follows: 'given in number the circle CBD with radius CB, and the inscribed line BD protracted as far as may be desired beyond the circle, yet so that BY drawn parallel to CF may cut the circle in Y. To find the true value of the line BY, not an approximation (which may easily be obtained from a table of sines)'.
In his letter to Wallis dated 24 December 1667, Henry Oldenburg mentioned that 'a certain person here' (identified by R. A. Hall and M. B. Hall as John Collins) had surmised that BY was a rational quantity, but had not offered a proof, since William Brouncker thought that GF might prove irrational. Wallis offered his proof that BY was rational in his letter to Oldenburg dated 8 February 1668.
|Physical description||Ink on paper|
|Related records in the catalogue||CLP/24/11/1|
Fellows associated with this archive
|NA2898||Collins; John (1625 - 1683); mathematician and scientific administrator||1625 - 1683|