# Questions tagged [calculus]

For questions about the mathematical field studying functions, focusing on infinitesimals and rates of change.

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### Source of L’Hôpital’s 1696 Calculus textbook

A calculus textbook I’m using references a calculus book of L’Hôpital in which he illustrates his rule, which is taught in many calculus classes. Does anyone have a source as a scanned PDF? I’d love ...
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### Notations for Laplacian: $\nabla^2$ vs. $\Delta$

For a (sufficiently smooth) function $f\colon \Bbb R^n\to\Bbb R$, the Laplacian of $f$ is defined to be $\sum_{j=1}^n \frac{\partial^2 f}{\partial x_j^2}$. There are two notations for the Laplacian ...
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### What made Leibniz think about calculus?

We know that Sir Isaac Newton thought about calculus when he tried to efficiently describe his physical laws but what made Sir Gottfried Leibniz think about something which we know today as calculus?
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### History of interpolation methods - Newton

I'm interested in reading more about how Newton developed his method of interpolation and also the proofs he developed to this topic. I'm currently reading "Analysis by its history" which ...
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### Did anyone ever propose the distinction between "divergent to infinity" as opposed to "divergent but with finite average"?

There are different regularization methods that allow us to ascribe finite values to divergent integrals, series or sequences. Still, in my view there is fundamental difference between divergent ...
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### Who introduced cylindrical coordinates?

Cylindrical coordinates$x=r\cos θ, y=r\sin θ, z=w$ seem to be a simple generalization of polar coordinates. When did they appear first? Also, who came up with the name?
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### Was multivariable calculus particularly prominent in Italy?

From my classes I don't hear about a lot of italian mathematicians, but two of them, Fubini and Tonelli, are both related to multivariable calculus. Is there a reason for this? Just a coincidence? Or ...
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### Historically, how did René Descartes's works affect the invention of calculus?

When the "Cartesian coordinate system" was discovered By René Descartes, Algebra and Geometry were connected. How exactly did that affect Newton and Leibniz in the invention of what we know ...
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### Is it the 'd' or 'D' operator?

Philip J. Davis' article on the history of the gamma function (PDF) mentions how Leibniz proposed the iterated differential operator (p. 851 in the upper right corner, or p. 3 of the PDF, about half-...
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### Earliest Instances of a Slope/Direction Field for a First-Order ODE

Background When first encountering slope fields in calculus or elementary differential equations, students often ask "What is the purpose?" A concise answer is that slope fields provide a way to ...
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### At what point did Calculus become a required field of study for aspiring scientists?

Nowadays, it's nearly impossible to obtain a university degree in a scientific discipline without completing at least some basic coursework in Calculus, and often times advanced courses are required. ...