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Newton & Leibniz Controversy

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Newton & Leibniz Controversy

SIR ISAAC NEWTON

- Born: 4 January 1643 in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, England
- School: Kings School, Grantham
- University: Trinity College Cambridge (Graduated 1665)
- Other Bouts: vs Robert Hooke (Gravitation)
- Famous Theories: 3 Laws of MotionBinomial TheoremUniversal Gravitation
- Other: Suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome*

* As argued by Simon Baron Cohen (References)

Gottfried Leibniz

- Born: 1 July 1646, Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
- Education: University of Leipzig (Graduated 1662) Philosophy Law
- Achievements: Invented first mass produced CalculatorAdmitted as foreign honorary member of French Academy of Sciences.Refined Binary Code System.

THE DISPUTE

- Whether Leibniz had discovered Calculus independently of Newton, or had invented another notation for it.

OR

Timeline of the Dispute:

1666 – Newton first refers to differential form (Although didn’t publish an account of his notation until 1693)

1675 – Newton manuscript of theories sent to Tschirnhaus. (At a time when Tschirnhaus and Leibniz were known to be collaborating.)

Earliest use of Leibniz’s use of differentials.

1676 - Leibniz admitted to having seen some of Newton’s letters, but denied their value with regards to Calculus.

1696 – Guillaume de L’Hopital publishes book on Calculus from Leibniz point of view, although acknowledges Newton’s work of 1680s

1704 – Anonymous Review implies Newton had borrowed ideas of Calculus from Leibniz

1712 – Newton publishes a paper ‘anonymously’ referencing argument that all Leibniz’s ideas of Calculus were derived from Newton

Questions to Consider:

- Why was the dispute considered important?
- What effect could the controversy have on each individuals legacy?
- What lessons were to be learned from the controversy?
- Why is History in Mathematics relevant?