Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Eat It, Isaac Newton!

One of the great and most celebrated debates in all of mathematics is the quarrel between Isaac Newton and Gottfied Leibniz over who can lay claim to having discovered calculus. Believe it or not, this feud has been splendid fodder for scholars and artists alike -- but, as it may turn out, all of the fussing and fighting may have been for not. A few researches from England now say that the discovery of an infinite series of number can be traced back to a "school" of Indian mathematicians as early as 250 years before Newton.

None of this actually diminishes the works of the Enlightenment math geeks we all know and love -- they were responsible for developing the tools to examine those infinite series -- but does add an interesting twist and a new character (which already includes even Archimedes) to the cast of the Newton-Leibniz debate.

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