What are some examples of widely accepted mathematical theorems that later proven to be false?
- MikeLv 610 years agoFavorite Answer
In 1803, Gian Francesco Malfatti proved that a certain arrangement of three circles would cover the maximum possible area inside a right triangle. However, to do so he made certain unwarranted assumptions about the configuration of the circles. It was shown in 1930 that circles in a different configuration could cover a greater area, and in 1967 that Malfatti's configuration was never optimal. See Malfatti circles.
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- Anonymous10 years ago
That "acceleration of a falling object due to gravity is proportional to the mass of said object" was a theory of Aristotle until proven false by experimentation by Galileo. It is generally accepted now that the speed of a falling object is independent of its mass. But again it was shown that the "independence" is not the case in all scenarios.
In reality both are correct; Galileo showed that the differences in speed were caused by air resistance but in large objects the "falling" speed (the rate of decreasing distance between objects such as the surface of the earth and another object) IS relative to mass... if the object is very large and has a gravitational pull of its own - and so pulls itself toward the ground in addition to the earth pulling on the object. So different objects could "fall" at different speeds if their gravitational pulls toward the earth are inequal. Generally though this difference is considered inconsequential.