In it Maclaurin developed several theorems due to Newton, and introduced the method of generating conics which bears his name, and showed that many curves of the third and fourth degrees can be described by the intersection of two movable angles.
Under the general heading "Geometry" occur the subheadings "Foundations," with the topics principles of geometry, non-Euclidean geometries, hyperspace, methods of analytical geometry; "Elementary Geometry," with the topics planimetry, stereometry, trigonometry, descriptive geometry; "Geometry of Conics and Quadrics," with the implied topics; "Algebraic Curves and Surfaces of Degree higher than the Second," with the implied topics; "Transformations and General Methods for Algebraic Configurations," with the topics collineation, duality, transformations, correspondence, groups of points on algebraic curves and surfaces, genus of curves and surfaces, enumerative geometry, connexes, complexes, congruences, higher elements in space, algebraic configurations in hyperspace; "Infinitesimal Geometry: applications of Differential and Integral Calculus to Geometry," with the topics kinematic geometry, curvature, rectification and quadrature, special transcendental curves and surfaces; "Differential Geometry: applications of Differential Equations to Geometry," with the topics curves on surfaces, minimal surfaces, surfaces determined by differential properties, conformal and other representation of surfaces on others, deformation of surfaces, orthogonal and isothermic surfaces.
Astronomy was also enriched by his investigations, and he was led to several remarkable theorems on conics which bear his name.
His treatise on Conics gained him the title of The Great Geometer, and is that by which his fame has been transmitted to modern times.
After the Conics in eight Books had been written in a first edition, Apollonius brought out a second edition, considerably revised as regards Books i.-ii., at the instance of one Eudemus of Pergamum; the first three books were sent to Eudemus at intervals, as revised, and the later books were dedicated (after Eudemus' death) to King Attalus I.
The degree of originality of the Conics can best be judged from Apollonius' own prefaces.
That he made the fullest use of his predecessors' works, such as Euclid's four Books on Conics, is clear from his allusions to Euclid, Conon and Nicoteles.
The generality of treatment is indeed remarkable; he gives as the fundamental property of all the conics the equivalent of the Cartesian equation referred to oblique axes (consisting of a diameter and the tangent at its extremity) obtained by cutting an oblique circular cone in any manner, and the axes appear only as a particular case after he has shown that the property of the conic can be expressed in the same form with reference to any new diameter and the tangent at its extremity.
Each of these was divided into two books, and, with the Data, the Porisms and Surface-Loci of Euclid and the Conics of Apollonius were, according to Pappus, included in the body of the ancient analysis.
(this is the monumental edition of Edmund Halley); (3) the edition of the first four books of the Conics given in 1675 by Barrow; (4) Apollonii Pergaei de Sectione Rationis libri duo: Accedunt ejusdem de Sectione Spatii libri duo Restituti: Praemittitur, e g c., Opera et Studio Edmundi Halley (Oxoniae, 1706), 4to; (5) a German translation of the Conics by H.
This proposition, which he called the mystic hexagram, he made the keystone of his theory; from it alone he deduced more than 400 corollaries, embracing, according to his own account, the conics of Apollonius, and other results innumerable.
In tangential q, r) co-ordinates the inscribed and circumscribed conics take the forms Xqr+µrp+vpq=o and 1/ X p+ 1 /µ q + V y r = o; these are parabolas when X++'=° and V X = 1 / µ 1 / v= o respectively.
To these should be added his version from the Arabic (which language he acquired for the purpose) of the treatise of Apollonius De sectione rationis, with a restoration of his two lost books De sectione spatii, both published at Oxford in 1706; also his fine edition of the Conics of Apollonius, with the treatise by Serenus De sectione cylindri et coni (Oxford, 1710, folio).
Hypatia, according to Suidas, was the author of commentaries on the Arithmetica of Diophantus of Alexandria, on the Conics of Apollonius of Perga and on the astronomical canon (of Ptolemy).
Conjointly with Giovanni Borelli he wrote a Latin translation of the 5th, 6th and 7th books of the Conics of Apollonius of Perga (1661).