Brackets in mathematics

Where did the brackets come from in mathematics? Brackets, or, as they are also called, special "punctuation marks", in a mathematical language allow you to change the sequence of arithmetic operations. They came into use in the 16th - early 17th centuries.

Where did the brackets come from in mathematics?

The first appeared square brackets in mathematics "[]", they were introduced in 1550 by Rafael Bombelli (1530-1572), an Italian mathematician and hydraulics engineer who worked in Bologna.

The appearance of parentheses "()" we owe to the famous Italian mathematician Niccolo Tartaglia (1500-1557), who was born in a poor family. His real name is unknown, and maybe he himself did not know her. His father died early, leaving his wife with three children. When the boy was six years old, his home town of Brescia was captured by French troops. People hid in the cathedral, but the walls of the temple did not save them from the bloody slaughter. Niccolo was lucky - he survived, but was injured: his throat was injured, his tongue was cut, and the boy could hardly pronounce the words. Therefore, he was nicknamed "tartalya" - "stutterer". At school, Niccolo studied only 15 days: the mother could not pay for her studies. But the boy possessed great perseverance and patience and learned to read himself. As a rule, there was not enough money for paper, and Tartaglia went to the cemetery every day and wrote exercises and tasks on charcoal on marble tombstones.

Niccolo was so addicted to mathematics that he himself reached unprecedented heights; Later he himself began to teach his favorite subject and became an outstanding mathematician of his time. He taught in Verona, Brescia and Venice. Tartaglia entered the history of science under the name "a man who made himself". Tartaglia wrote several books, the most important of which was published in Venice in 1556 under the title "General Studies of Numbers and Measures". In it, he first used parentheses in mathematics. Later, mathematician M. Stiefel began to use parentheses in mathematics. The first to apply them F. Viiet, however, they did not look like brackets, but features above the polynomial. But curly braces in mathematics "{}" appeared precisely thanks to Viet (in 1593).

Curly braces are most often used in mathematical formulas, where they usually combine a group of formulas or embrace an expression in which round or square brackets have already been used. However, braces in mathematics were widely used later in the works of Leibniz and Euler.

Brackets have found application not only in mathematics. Parentheses are widely used in chemistry, programming languages. Everybody knows the use of square brackets for transcription in phonetics. Braces were used in popular programming languages such as C, Java, Pascal (in the comments).