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#1 2012-10-09 11:10:25

Super Member


Calculus Origin

I have a question about limits. I am taking a University course at Yale on Vectors and Calculus and I consider my self to be very well versed at limits, derivatives etc. However, I still have one question. Who created Calculus? We are all aware of Newton being the main "creator". But what about Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz?

I have discovered a truly marvellous signature, which this margin is too narrow to contain. -Fermat
Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world. -Archimedes
Young man, in mathematics you don't understand things. You just get used to them. - Neumann

#2 2012-10-09 11:22:50



Re: Calculus Origin

Historically, it is agreed that both get the credit. Newton seems to have discovered it prior to Leibniz but did not publish. Less well known, is that earlier mathematicians like Fermat were discovering portions of it. Even Johannes Kepler solved an integration by stuffing rectangles under a curve and imagining what would happen if there were an infinite number of rectangles that were infinitely small. The beginnings of integral calculus.

In mathematics, you don't understand things. You just get used to them.
I have the result, but I do not yet know how to get it.
All physicists, and a good many quite respectable mathematicians are contemptuous about proof.

#3 2012-10-09 17:53:39


Re: Calculus Origin

What a coincidence... I am doing a project on exactly this (Newton vs Leibniz)!

#4 2012-10-09 18:49:15

Real Member


Re: Calculus Origin

The idea about approximating a circles circumference/area with inscribed and described perfect polygons is also from calculus, but was first used in ancient Greece.

The limit operator is just an excuse for doing something you know you can't.
“It's the subject that nobody knows anything about that we can all talk about!” ― Richard Feynman
“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

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