Pietro Cataldi, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Pietro Cataldi

Italian mathematician

Date of Birth: 15-Apr-1552

Place of Birth: Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Date of Death: 11-Feb-1626

Profession: mathematician, university teacher

Zodiac Sign: Aries

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About Pietro Cataldi

  • Pietro Antonio Cataldi (15 April 1548, Bologna – 11 February 1626, Bologna) was an Italian mathematician.
  • A citizen of Bologna, he taught mathematics and astronomy and also worked on military problems.
  • His work included the development of continued fractions and a method for their representation.
  • He was one of many mathematicians who attempted to prove Euclid's fifth postulate.
  • Cataldi discovered the sixth and seventh perfect numbers by 1588.
  • His discovery of the 6th, that corresponding to p=17 in the formula Mp=2p-1, exploded a many-times repeated number-theoretical myth that the perfect numbers had units digits that invariably alternated between 6 and 8.
  • (Until Cataldi, 19 authors going back to Nicomachus are reported to have made the claim, with a few more repeating this afterward, according to L.E.Dickson's History of the Theory of Numbers).
  • Cataldi's discovery of the 7th (for p=19) held the record for the largest known prime for almost two centuries, until Leonhard Euler discovered that 231 - 1 was the eighth Mersenne prime.
  • Although Cataldi incorrectly claimed that p=23, 29, 31 and 37 all also generate Mersenne primes (and perfect numbers), his text's clear demonstration shows that he had genuinely established primality through p=19.

Read more at Wikipedia