The War of Calculations

The War of Calculations

The calculation is a mathematical theoretical most important inventions of our time. Only because of him, which is used to work since the growth rates of different magnitudes, movement or growth, to cases where there are variable forces acting and producing acceleration or amounts of accumulation is that we can have many of the modern conveniences of today.

The principle of calculation

What matters to us here is that the calculation has earned a lot of fighting, mostly because of his own, since two mathematical weight ordering his paternity: Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz. It should be noted that although these two were the ones who developed the theory as we know and use today, research and basic applications calculation had been enthralled by Archimedes, the greatest mathematician of antiquity, in the first century BC And it is not the most impressive : about 200 years earlier, Eudoxus of Knidos, a renowned Greek astronomer and mathematician, famous for having been able to account for the year with incredible accuracy: 365 days and 1/4 length, used a kind of calculation to find the volume of a trunk parallel pyramidal bases. And you there, taking to a rule of three.

Other advances could be seen in the Middle Ages due to Eastern scholars. Remember that at the time the “brain” of the world was on that side of the globe, as the West was in a cast due to patrol the Catholic Church. Among the names that have contributed to the development of calculus are the Indian Aryabhata, Bhaskara II and Madhava of Sangamagrama and the Persian Sharaf al-Din al-Tusi, for example. And even before we take the discussion to the main characters of the story, it is necessary to comment briefly on other contributors and contributions, such as the method of exhaustion, which had increased in Japan by Seki Kowa, or the Scottish innovation and James Gregory Barrow and the British Isaac John Wallis, for example.

The next step would be for the account of Newton and Leibniz own that would compile all this, they added his notes and invented the modern calculation.

The fight

One can not deny that, chronologically, victory should be given to Isaac Newton, who still in the early years of their undergraduate at Cambridge, in a retreat at his country estate of almost two years without contact from anyone, after making the most unimaginable experiences and reflect on the universal laws of physics that govern our world, came up with what we call modern calculation. And if that were the only fruit (fruit, apple; Isaac Newton, get it?) Of his retreat for studies’d be good, right? But there was more. From there came also important considerations and findings on the theory of universal gravitation, laws of motion, optics, physics of tides, the fluid mechanics, among others. And if you think these irrelevant studies, see how the perspective resulted in the invention of optical fiber .

However, the most prodigal of this period was the calculation – initially called “method flows and fluent.” But what stands out is that Newton did not publish anything about it, getting this work hidden for years, just hanging private copies sent to friends of the Royal Society, of which he was a member and president. The ultimate incentive for exposure calculation the world would only come after Leibniz move your chopsticks.

A few hundred kilometers away, one decade later, in Paris, Leibniz dedicated to creating the calculation. For years he would work in their studies and resulting in a unique mathematical system in the world (at least chronologically, since everything had been thought by Newton years before). What do we do when we find something in which we work a lot and that can change the world? If you answered “publish” hit. This is what he did, making public their findings through publications in 1684 and 1686. As a result, Leibniz can claim for themselves the title of inventions calculation and toast, be considered one of the greatest living mathematicians of his time.

Seeing the success of another scientist, Newton was sorry he had not published what was discovered decades before and decided to chase the game, claiming the title of greatest mathematical booster from the Greeks. Ready, was made bullshit, from now supporters they would join the two sides, each pulling their point of view. War calculation was launched.

Calculation of war

Remember we talked about that some copies of the work of Newton circulated among selected friends? Well, it happens that one of these copies was read by Leibniz himself (who was also a member of the Royal Society), which gave Newton the possibility to call your work plagiarism of his ideas. To improve (Newton), he has enjoyed at this time of an unassailable reputation in academia, and more, could prove to have written before that all Leibniz claimed was his. And that’s what he did from 1699, when through his influence began hiring other scientists of the time to defend her and / or attack the Leibniz thief. After all, who let it slip through his fingers a brilliant job that would give him glory for the rest of eternity?

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
And if you think that Leibniz would retreat to the first attack of Newton, was wrong. He and some supporters of their cause Newton accused of the same crime which was being accused: Stealing the idea of ​​the other. And how had less “credit” than Newton polymath, he had to overcome the offensive. One method found was to write in his own handwriting dozens of letters explaining the situation and asking for support for their cause to various members of the European scientific community. Also still write anonymous attacks on Newton, articles, and the dispute would reach the King of England.

And that was the keynote of War that lasted for years. Newton attacking Leibniz one hand, this defending himself and counter-attacking another. Each trying to co-opt more supporters to their cause; materials and defamatory articles, accusations, trials and situations, etc.

Who won?

This is an unanswered question, at least without a timely response. Let’s see what would the lawyer of each side:

Winner Newton invented calculus almost 10 years before Leibniz begin their research.Greatest scientist of all time with regard to the revolutions caused by their findings; Without their initial study – which Leibniz had the opportunity to read – perhaps it had never done his research in the area.

Winner Leibniz: It was beyond that Newton himself in research into the calculation, and even the mind behind the imaging system used to date (Newton also created one but not spawned as Leibniz). Some critics say that Leibniz should take a good part of the credit only for “translate” and make intelligible “all” which is defined with the study and the theory of computation. Ahh, and of course, he was the first to publish and make calculating a public knowledge.

Sir Isaac Newton
Today most biographers tend to consider Calculation of War is a huge mess and waste of time focusing on what really matters: the scientific contribution of the two, which was not bigger because of human vanity. In addition, it is accepted today that both reached their results independently, and Newton began his studies with distinction and Leibniz with integration.Moreover, science is done day after day, a fact confirmed by other mathematicians who contributed greatly to the study of the calculation, such as the French Cauchy, Riemann and Weierstrass German and Italian Maria Gaetana Agnesi, the first to together in one work the studies of Newton and Leibniz.

In the end the two never personally saw and was his only contact, some letters during youth, and another 2 or 3 full correspondence exchanged during rancor maturity.

Now imagine if these two brilliant beings had worked together? Our mathematical level would be much more advanced and who knows what we could have in hand today.

Who wants to know more about it, YouTube is full of documentaries about the dispute. Below only one of them:

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The War of Calculations

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