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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Rafael Bombelli – Italian mathematician

Rafael Bombelli was born on January 20, 1526, in Bologna, Italy and died on 1572, in Rome, Italy. The original family name was Mazzoli. The Mazzolis, who seem to have been small landowners, adopted the name Bombelli early in the sixteenth century. Rafael Bombelli was the eldest son, and he was one of a family of six children. Rafael received no university education.

He was trained by an engineer- architect Pier Francesco Clementi and worked as an engineer-architect until died on 1573 without much recognition until hundred years later by the math society as a great Italian mathematician.

Bombelli followed Clementi into the profession and acquired a patron, Alessandro Rufini. The major engineering project on which Bombelli was employed was the reclamation of the marshes of the Val du Chiana. It was at a time when the reclamation work had been suspended that he wrote his treatise on algebra in the peaceful atmosphere of his patron’s villa in Rome.

Rafael Bombelli was the first to propose the idea of complex numbers. Bombelli wrote about imaginary numbers in his very influential book Algebra which was published in 1572. In his book, Bombelli solved equations, using the method of del Ferro/Tartaglia, he introduced +i and -i and described how they both worked in Algebra.
Rafael Bombelli – Italian mathematician

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