
In Bruges there is a Simon Stevin Square which contains his statue by Eugen Simonis[?].
Stevin also distinguished stable from unstable equilibrium. He proved the law of the equilibrium on an inclined plane.
He demonstrated before Pierre Varignon the resolution of forces, which, simple consequence of the law of their composition though it is, had not been previously remarked.
He discovered the hydrostatic paradox that the downward pressure of a liquid is independent of the shape of the vessel, and depends only on its height afid base.
He also gave the measure of the pressure on any given portion of the side of a vessel.
He had the idea of explaining the tides by the attraction of the moon.
In 1586 he demonstrates that two objects of different weight fall with the same speed.
He was the inventor of defence by a system of sluices, which proved of the highest importance for the Netherlands.
His plea for the teaching of the science of fortification in universities, and the existence of such lectures in Leiden, have led to the impression that he himself filled this chair; but the belief is erroneous, as Stevin, though living at Leiden, never had direct relations with its university.
Decimal fractions had been employed for the extraction of square roots some five centuries before his time, but nobody before Stevin established their daily use; and so well aware was he of the importance of his innovation that he declared the universal introduction of decimal coinage, measures and weights to be only a question of time.
His notation is rather unwieldy. The point separating the integers from the decimal fractions seems to be the invention of Bartholomaeus Pitiscus[?], in whose trigonometrical tables (1612) it occurs and it was accepted by John Napier in his logarithmic papers (1614 and 1619).
Stevin printed little circles round the exponents of the different powers of onetenth. The fact that Stevin meant those encircled numerals to denote mere exponents is evident from his employing the very same sign for powers of algebraic quantities. He does not even avoid fractional exponents, and is ignorant only of negative exponents.
Stevin wrote on other scientific subjects—optics, geography, astronomy—and a number of his writings were translated into Latin by W. Snellius. There are two complete editions in French of his works, both printed at Leiden, one in 1608, the other in 1634.
His eye for the importance of having the scientific language be the same as the language of the craftsmen may show from the dedication of his book De Thiende ('The Disme'): 'Simon Stevin wishes the stargazers, surveyors, carpet measurers, body measurers in general, coin measurers and tradespeople good luck.'
Furtheron in the same pamphlet, he writes: "[this text] teaches us all calculations that are needed by the people without using fractions. One can reduce all operations to adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing with integers."
The words he invented evolved: 'aftrekken' (subtract) and 'delen' (divide) stayed the same, but over time 'menigvuldigen' became 'vermenigvuldigen' (multiply, the added 'ver' has no meaning) and 'vergaderen' became 'optellen' (add).
The word 'zomenigmaal' (quotient lit. 'that many times') has become the perhaps less poetic 'quotiënt' in modern day Dutch.
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