[oclug] Case Closed
willy at debian.org
Thu Jul 31 20:39:16 EDT 2003
On Thu, Jul 31, 2003 at 08:02:21PM -0400, Francis J. A. Pinteric wrote:
> That is why Newton and Leibniz are credited equally with the invention
> of the Calculus. Unless you are English. Or German.
Um, I'm English and was educated in England. I was taught about the
simultaneous invention of calculus. It's hardly the only case --
remember the furore about who invented the telephone earlier this year?
> P.S. For those who don't realize, the standard syntax of modern
> Differential Calculus is that which was invented by Leibniz. Newton's
> notation was somewhat more concise, but harder to read. It employed a
> system of dots to designate derivatives, while Leibniz employed the
> familar `d' syntax that violates all of our highschool student's rules
> about algebra they just learned. So whether the notation of Newton
> or that of Leibniz is easier to read depends only on becoming
> familiar with both. [It's NOT multiplication? The`2' is NOT squared?-- I
> hope there is at least one highschool student in the audience. They
> *do* teach the Calculus in highscool do they? I was 10 when I learned
> it, so pardon my ignorance.]
Again, not entirely true. Yes, the d/dx form is more widely used in
mathematics, but the x-dot / x-dotdot notation is still used in physics
to represent speed (or velocity) and acceleration respectively.
"It's not Hollywood. War is real, war is primarily not about defeat or
victory, it is about death. I've seen thousands and thousands of dead bodies.
Do you think I want to have an academic debate on this subject?" -- Robert Fisk
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