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29 votes
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What does it mean by "d-ism of Leibniz" and "dotage of Newton" in simple English?

It is a play of words by Charles Babbage. Deism was a religious belief or rather a movement promoting the idea that God exists but it does not interfere with whatever happens in this world. This old ...
ACR's user avatar
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28 votes
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How did Isaac Newton write the integral symbol?

Newton used both vertical bars ($\overset{|}{x}$) and rectangles ($\boxed{x}$) to denote integrals in his Quadratura curvarum published in 1704. Here, the bar notation is used on the bottom of page 9 ...
Scene's user avatar
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21 votes

Did Newton know about non-inertial frames?

TL;DR Yes, but... 1) Inertial frames To say that Newton had the modern conception of even inertial frames (based on the laws of motion), is an overstatement. Theoretically, he did not need them ...
Conifold's user avatar
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19 votes
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Inscriptions on Newton's tomb

Another picture of the scroll, but taken from a different angle, appeared in: Greg Priest, Silvia De Toffoli, Paula Findlen, "Tools of Reason: The Practice of Scientific Diagramming from ...
njuffa's user avatar
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18 votes
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Did Newton say: "If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been due more to patient attention, than to any other talent"?

So far I have been unable to find substantially identical words in Newton's writings, and as usual, authors that use this quotation do not cite a source. The origin may be a remark of Newton's in ...
njuffa's user avatar
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11 votes
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Why is there little scholarship devoted to Book II of Newton's Principia?

It can certainly be agreed that Book 2 of the Principia has received less attention than Books 1 and 3. According to I B Cohen (1999):-- "Book 2 of the Principia differs from books 1 and 3 in a ...
terry-s's user avatar
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11 votes
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What mathematics did Isaac Newton learn at school?

Newton studied at school and at the university, but he mostly taught himself by reading. (At his secondary school he certainly learned Latin, Greek, the Bible and some arithmetic. In the universities,...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
10 votes

Was English mathematics behind Europe by many years because of Newton's notation?

Several factors come together to suggest that the idea that "English mathematics [was] ever significantly behind -- by say 50 years, 100 years, or even centuries" (i.e. in the post-Newtonian 18th or ...
terry-s's user avatar
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10 votes

How did the idea of a formal derivation emerge?

The motivation for applying derivatives to polynomials over general fields is their use in detecting multiple roots: if $K$ is a general field, a polynomial $f(x)$ in $K[x]$ has no repeated roots (...
KCd's user avatar
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9 votes

Why is calculus missing from Newton's Principia?

Although this question and the answers now have some age to them, I suggest that it's important not to overlook the mythical character of the assumption that underlies this question. The question ...
terry-s's user avatar
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9 votes
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Was Newton's method of finding derivatives of his fluents based on applying the chain rule?

The answer is more of a yes, but with many buts. Newton did not have the modern concept of function, it was introduced by Dirichlet in the 19th century, or even its predecessor as assignment of values ...
Conifold's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is Newton going to be the new Aristotle?

I suggest that the baseless suggestion offered in this question can best be answered by Einstein's own words about Newton, written in 1919. The background was the now-well-known eclipse expedition ...
terry-s's user avatar
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9 votes
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What sort of science is satirized in Hogarth's Weighing House?

Clubbe's Physiognomy, where the etching is the frontispiece, is accessible on Internet Archive. Clubbe's target was the so-called pneumatology ("science of spirit"), a popular in the 18th ...
Conifold's user avatar
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8 votes

What does it mean by "d-ism of Leibniz" and "dotage of Newton" in simple English?

The first answer is excellent but just for context on the actual math: Newton notation for derivative of f(x): $ \dot f(x) $ Leibniz notation for derivative of f(x): $ \frac {df}{dx} $ Newton's ...
ShinyDemon's user avatar
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Why Isaac Newton published his discoveries so much later than he discovered them?

The question virtually quotes some blanket statements about Newton's willingness (or not) to publish, and about when he made certain discoveries, etc. It is true that such statements certainly have ...
terry-s's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is there anything written by Newton's roommate Wilkins about him?

Part of the problem may be that Newton's roommate's name is spelled as Wickins or Wickens, not to be confused with bishop John Wilkins, Newton's older contemporary. Since they did live in the same ...
Conifold's user avatar
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7 votes
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How close was Hooke to developing a comprehensive system of gravity?

Hooke was not close (as far as we can judge from his surviving work) to what Newton accomplished. Yes, he conjectured the inverse square law. He understood correctly some simple qualitative features ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
7 votes

What problem led to the discovery of Calculus?

You remember incorrectly. Calculus was found by Archimedes, Gregory of Saint-Vincent, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Pascal, Cavalieri, Fermat, Barrow, Wallis, Brounker, Huygens, Leibniz, J. Gregory, N. ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
7 votes
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How did Newton prove his third law of motion?

It was not "the experiment". First, Newton considered "his" laws to be "common knowledge" already "abundantly" confirmed and accepted by experts (he names ...
Conifold's user avatar
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7 votes
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Are there any direct comments by Isaac Newton on Leibniz's living force / vis-viva?

The controversy was not so much about the tension between vis viva and mechanics, as about what is the "true" quantity of motion, vis viva or momentum, and what is the "metaphysical&...
Conifold's user avatar
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7 votes

How did Isaac Newton write the integral symbol?

The section II.4 Integral Calculus in Analysis by Its History by E. Hairer and E. Wanner begins with quotations, one of them from a letter by Newton: Newton, letter to Keill, April 20, 1714: And ...
Markus Scheuer's user avatar
6 votes

Difficulty in Understanding Newton's Principia

It would probably not have been easy for a contemporary mathematician to formulate a direct critique that Newton was difficult to understand without also 'reflecting' unwanted discredit on the skill ...
terry-s's user avatar
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6 votes

Allegations of Newton's untruthfulness

The article cited by the questioner incorrectly represents the limited amount of historical evidence that we have about the incident described. When the article is compared with the evidence, it can ...
terry-s's user avatar
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6 votes
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Allegations of Newton's untruthfulness

A comprehensive scientific biography of Newton is "Never at rest" by Westfall. He tells the story, and expresses no doubt about it. The article in Wikipedia is an example of sloppy writing.
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
6 votes
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When did the word "Real number" begin to be used as an official terminology to refer to both rational and irrational numbers?

It is hard to say what "official" means exactly, it is not like there was a bureau of terminological standards. But "real numbers", "real values" and "real ...
Conifold's user avatar
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6 votes
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How to understand Poincaré's interpretation of Newton's anagram "aaaaabbbeeeeii"

See more detail about this anagram (there were actually two of them) here: https://mathoverflow.net/questions/140327/arnold-on-newtons-anagram Whatever the literal translation of the anagrams is, ...
Alexandre Eremenko's user avatar
6 votes
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Ideas about the speed of light between Galileo and Romer?

I do not think it is a virtue to make unsupported assertions just because we happen to believe them now. Following available evidence does not makes one not smart or disappointing, that is how science ...
Conifold's user avatar
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6 votes

Third law of motion before Newton?

Much early thinking about what became the laws of motion in the Principia, including the third law, can be found in Newton's "Waste Book". It is a notebook started in 1665, and it is ...
terry-s's user avatar
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6 votes

What are the various manuscripts/transmissions of Newton's book "The Method of Fluxions"?

The question asks for chains of transmission and for manuscripts antecedent to Newton's eventual book(s) on fluxions. So I would recommend, as the first places to start, the 8-volume series of '...
terry-s's user avatar
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6 votes

How good was Newton at definite integration?

Newton integrated in the 'Principia' at least three rate-expressions related to features of the motion of the moon. (Newton's convention for denoting such rates was to call them 'hourly motions'): (a) ...
terry-s's user avatar
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