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Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method$
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Niccolo Guicciardini

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013178

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013178.001.0001

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The Method of Series

The Method of Series

(p.138) (p.139) 7 The Method of Series
Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method

Niccolò Guicciardini

The MIT Press

This chapter explores the method of series developed in Newton’s De Analysi per aequationes numero terminorum infinitas. Newton’s method in the use of infinite series was heavily derived from the work of a fellow mathematician, John Wallis, most notably in Arithmetica Infinitorum. Wallis was a Savilian professor of geometry in Oxford University. His Arithmetica Infinitorum deals with the “quadrature of curvilinear figures,” which was an important topic in mathematics during the seventeenth century. Using a Wallisian interpolation technique, Newton came up with a mathematical discovery—the binomial series of fractional powers—which gave him access to the realm of infinite series as found in his work De Analysi.

Keywords:   Newton, John Wallis, De Analysi, Arithmetica Infinitorum, infinite series

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