WIT Press
'Magic is No Magic'

'Magic is No Magic'

The Wonderful World of Simon Stevin

Authors: J.T. Devreese, University of Antwerp, Belgium and G. Vanden Berghe, Ghent University, Belgium


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Simon Stevin made outstanding contributions to various fields of science, in particular physics and mathematics, as well as many more. Among the striking spectrum of his ingenious achievements, it is worth emphasizing that Simon Stevin is rightly considered the father of the decimal fraction system as it is 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 scientist since Archimedes to make a significant new contribution to the fields of statics and hydrostatics. He was a true homo universalis and this book gives a comprehensive picture of his activities and the creative heritage.

The impact of Stevin’s works has been multilateral and worldwide, and it is evident in literature, science, politics and many other fields. Given the way science works today, it would be impossible for a single individual to make meaningful contributions in as many areas as Simon Stevin did. The purpose of this book is to introduce Simon Stevin and his work to the widest possible readership. In doing so, the authors have kept to established historical facts and critically underpinned scientific insights into Stevin and his work. This is the first complete and accessible history of the work of Simon Stevin.

'Magic is No Magic'