# Definition:Cycloid/Historical Note

## Historical Note on Cycloid

Some sources suggest that the **cycloid** may first have been investigated by Charles de Bouvelles, in the course of developing a technique of Squaring the Circle.

Galileo subsequently raised interest in it in the early $1600$s.

He named the curve, but seems not to have actually discovered any of its interesting properties.

He passed on his interest to Marin Mersenne, among others.

Mersenne in turn suggested it to Descartes and others of his friends in the AcadÃ©mie Parisienne as an object worth investigating.

Subsequently it was studied in detail over the next couple of centuries by such as Roberval, Torricelli, Pascal, Huygens, Johann Bernoulli, Newton, Leibniz, Christopher Wren, Euler, Abel and many others.

For various fanciful reasons, the cycloid has been called the **Helen of Geometry**.

## Sources

- 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text{V}$: "Greatness and Misery of Man" - 1992: George F. Simmons:
*Calculus Gems*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {A}.12$: Mersenne ($\text {1588}$ – $\text {1648}$) - 1992: George F. Simmons:
*Calculus Gems*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {A}.15$: Torricelli ($\text {1608}$ – $\text {1647}$) - 1992: George F. Simmons:
*Calculus Gems*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {B}.21$: The Cycloid - 2008: David Nelson:
*The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics*(4th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**cycloid**