Essay, Research Paper

Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Sir Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz are two of the most supreme

intellects of the 17th century. They are both considered to be the inventors

of Calculus. However, after a terrible dispute, Sir Isaac Newton took most of

the credit.

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) was a German philosopher, mathematician,

and statesman born in the country of Leipzig. He received his education at the

universities of Leipzig, Jena, and Altdorf. He received a doctorate in law. He

devoted much of his time to the principle studies of mathematics, science, and

philosophy.

Leibniz’s contribution in mathematics was in the year 1675, when he discovered

the fundamental principles of infinitesimal calculus. He arrived at this

discovery independently at the same time along with the English scientist Sir

Isaac Newton in 1666. However, Leibniz’s system was published in 1684, three

years before Newton published his. Also at this time Leibniz’s method of

notation, known as mathematical symbols, were adopted universally. He also

contributed in 1672 by inventing a calculating machine that was capable of

multiplying, dividing, and extracting square roots. All this made him to be

considered a pioneer in the developement of mathematical logic.

Sir Isaac Newton is the other major figure in the development of Calculus. He

was an English mathemetician and physcist, whose considered to be one of the

greatest scientists in history. Newton was born on December 25, 1642 at

Woolsthorpe, near Grantham in Lincolnshire. He attended Trinity College, at

the University of Cambridge. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1665 and

received his master’s degree in 1668. However, there he ignored much of the

universities established curriculum to pursue his own interests: mathematics and

natural philosophy. Almost immediately, he made fundamental discoveries in both

areas.

Newtons dicoveries was made up of several different things. It consisted of

combined infinite sums which are known as infinite series. It also consisted of

the binomial theorem for frational exponents and the algebraic expression of the

inverse relation between tangents and areas into methods that we refer to today

as calculus.

However, the story is not that simple. Being that both men were so-called

universal geniuses, they realized that in different ways they were entitled to

have the credit for ?inventing calculus?. Both engaged in a violent dispute

over priority in the invention of calculus. Unfortunately, Newton had the

upper hand, considering that he was the president of the Royal Society. He used

this position to to select a committee that would investigate the unsolved

question. Apparently, Newton included himself on this committee (illegally)

and submitted a false report that charged Leibniz with deliberate plagiarism.

He was also the one who compiled the book of evidence that the ?society? was

supposed to publish.

In my opinion, I believe that Leibniz was entitled to the credit more than

Newton was. For one, the phrase ?First come, First serve?. I also think that

anyone who has to go about getting things in a scandulous way doesn’t deserve

any recognition at all. Consequently, because of Newton’s sneaky actions he

got the glamour he wanted. For example, when I was doing my research I read

where they haad distinctively put Newton before Leibniz by using the phrase ?

respectively?. In conclusion, I believe that over the years credit has been

given to the wrong person.

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