Absolute Value

Topics: Complex number, Real number, Absolute value Pages: 2 (632 words) Published: February 11, 2013
The Earliest Known Uses of Absolute Value

Absolute Value is a term that is a commonly used in the field of mathematics. How truly old is the term absolute value? What was absolute value first used for? How has the term changed over time if it has at all? The questions information has been found for the paper was found on three online websites that will be cited at the end. The paper will talk about what absolute value truly means today and in the past. It will also be focused on how when the term came about and how it has transformed to modern day mathematics and the uses of it. The reason for this paper is to enlighten the reader on the first known use of absolute value and explain what it is exactly does absolute value mean?

Absolute Value
Several key events took place to get the term absolute value to a commonly used math word. The term absolute value was presented by a man named Jean-Robert Argand a mathematician in 1806 who is famous for his work with “module” (The French word for absolute value). The measuring device was “invented” in France for complex absolute values and was somewhat similar to the absolute value term we have today, but the sign (the two parallel bars) will not be invented for a long time. It was not for a while till the English decided to use the term absolute value in the year 1857 when it was first introduced. The term was actually borrowed from the Latin term “modulus” which has an equal meaning to absolute value and is sometimes referred to by its Latin name still today. The way absolute value is written is with bar then a variable followed by another bar, like so |x|. It can also be writing with negative inside it, but the sign is dropped. This way of writing it was introduced by a man named Karl Weierstrass in the year 1841 and has stuck around ever since. These key factors are what made it the common known mathematical term we know today as absolute value. When the word is broken down Absolute means free from...
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