ALL ABOUT HYPATIAS INVENTIONS!
Who is this woman?Hypatia (born c. AD 350 – 370; died 415) was a Greek Alexandrian Neoplatonist philosopher in Egypt who was one of the earliest mothers of mathematics. As head of the Platonist school at Alexandria, she also taught philosophy and astronomy. She was the inventor of many great ideas to do different things including the astrolabe FIGURE 1.1 and hydrometer FIGURE 1.2. These are just two of her many inventions. She also wrote a book named The astronomical cannon. But it is possible that it really is a newer edition of another book on maths tables by Ptolemy. It is said that she made significant contributions to maths. Mainly in the areas of geometry. Hypatia and her father edited many books of the maths field such as: Euclids elements and Ptolemy's almagest. Hypatia is often talked about writing her favourite fields of study: philosophy, astronomy and mathematics but her works were burned in the devastating fire of the Library of Alexandria.
What did she invent?Hypatia invented 2 of her most important things. Firstly being the Astrolabe, a hand held device used by astronomers, navigators, and astrologers. how it all started was that Her student Synesius, bishop of Cyrene, wrote a letter describing his construction of an astrolabe. Earlier astrolabes predate that of Synesius by at least a century, and Hypatia's father had gained fame for his treatise on the subject. However, Synesius claimed that his was an improved model. Synesius also sent Hypatia a letter describing a hydrometer, and requesting her to have one constructed for him. Its many uses include locating and predicting the positions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars, determining local time given local latitude and vice-versa, surveying, triangulation, and to cast horoscopes. It was used in classical antiquity, the Islamic Golden Age, the European Middle Ages and Renaissance for all these purposes. In the Islamic world, it was also used to calculate the Qibla and to find the times for Salat, prayers.
There is often confusion between the astrolabe and the mariner's astrolabe. While the astrolabe could be useful for determining latitude on land, it was an awkward instrument for use on the heaving deck of a ship or in wind. The mariner's astrolabe was developed to solve these problems.
A hydrometer is usually made of glass and consists of a cylindrical stem and a bulb weighted with mercury or lead shot to make it float upright. The liquid to be tested is poured into a tall container, often a graduated cylinder, and the hydrometer is gently lowered into the liquid until it floats freely. The point at which the surface of the liquid touches the stem of the hydrometer is noted. Hydrometers usually contain a scale inside the stem, so that the specific gravity can be read directly. A variety of scales exist, and are used depending on the context.
Hydrometers may be calibrated for different uses, such as a lactometer for measuring the density (creaminess) of milk, a saccharometer for measuring the density of sugar in a liquid, or an alcoholometer for measuring higher levels of alcohol in spirits.