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#1 2012-10-08 12:10:25

Registered: 2011-02-07
Posts: 3,640

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?


#2 2012-10-08 12:22:50

From: Bumpkinland
Registered: 2009-04-12
Posts: 92,337

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 agree with you regarding the satisfaction and importance of actually computing some numbers. I can't tell you how often I see time and money wasted because someone didn't bother to run the numbers.


#3 2012-10-08 18:53:39


Re: Calculus Origin

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

#4 2012-10-08 19:49:15

Real Member
From: The Foundation
Registered: 2011-05-23
Posts: 15,822

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.

“Here lies the reader who will never open this book. He is forever dead.
“Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
The knowledge of some things as a function of age is a delta function.


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