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KTH/Nordita/SU seminar in Theoretical Physics

"Ultimately equal". Newton and the notion of limit

by Johan Grundberg (MdH)

Europe/Stockholm
FB55 ()

FB55

Description
Bishop Berkeley accused the early practitioners of calculus of using ''a most inconsistent way of arguing such as would not be allowed in Divinity''. Calculus was put on a satisfactory basis in the 19th century by basing it on the concept of limit. It has recently been pointed out that there is evidence that Newton had a better understanding of this concept than he is generally given credit for. I will compare Newton's definition of limit with later versions and discuss a couple of examples of how he used it.