A forgotten paper on the fundamental theorem of algebra

@article{Smithies2000AFP,
  title={A forgotten paper on the fundamental theorem of algebra},
  author={Frank Smithies},
  journal={Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London},
  year={2000},
  volume={54},
  pages={333 - 341}
}
  • F. Smithies
  • Published 22 September 2000
  • Mathematics
  • Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London
In 1798, there appeared in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society a paper by James Wood, purporting to prove the fundamental theorem of algebra, to the effect that every non-constant polynomial with real coefficients has at least one real or complex zero. Since the first generally accepted proof of this result was given by Gauss in 1799, Wood's paper deserves careful examination. After giving a brief outline of Wood's career, I describe the argument of his paper. His proof turns… 
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