Newton Is the Father Os Calculus

Topics: Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz, Mathematics Pages: 4 (1432 words) Published: January 19, 2011
Like most discoveries, calculus was the culmination of centuries of work rather than an instant epiphany. Mathematicians all over the world contributed to its development, but the two most recognized discoverers of calculus are Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Although the credit is currently given to both men, there was a time when the debate over which of them truly deserved the recognition was both heated and widespread. Evidence also shows that Newton was the first to establish the general method called the "theory of fluxions" was the first to state the fundamental theorem of calculus and was also the first to explore applications of both integration and differentiation in a single work (Struik, 1948). However, since Leibniz was the first to publish a dissertation on calculus, he was given the total credit for the discovery for a number of years. This later led, of course, to accusations of plagiarism being hurled relentlessly in the direction of Leibniz. It is also known that Leibniz and Newton corresponded by letter quite regularly, and they most often discussed the subject of mathematics (Boyer, 1968). In fact, Newton first described his methods, formulas and concepts of calculus, including his binomial theorem, fluxions and tangents, in letters he wrote to Leibniz (Ball, 1908). However an examination of Leibniz' unpublished manuscripts provided evidence that despite his correspondence with Newton, he had come to his own conclusions about calculus already. The letters may then, have merely helped Leibniz to expand upon his own initial ideas. In 1669, he wrote a short manuscript on the method entitled De Analysi per Aequationes Infinitas (On analysis by Infinite Series), which he showed to a few people, including Isaac Barrow, the Lucasian Professor, who urged him to publish it. But, he would not agree. Why? ... because of his almost pathological fear of criticism. He wrote De Methodis Serierum et Fluxionum (On the methods of series and...
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