The story of Calculus: How it was discovered?


Since the invention of the Wheel, the best and most useful skill responsible for the development of mankind wasn't knowledge but 'Questioning'. Yes! you read it correctly.

If our ancestors wouldn't have asked the right questions, we might have still believed that the sun revolves around the earth.

Some people are too proud to ask a question. However, the truth is that a good question will lead you to the correct path. If you are intelligent enough to ask a question, then you are intelligent enough to understand the answer.

Talking about a question and its answer is the most impactful thing that we can do. A good example of this statement in the real world would be Newton and how he discovered Calculus.

As many of us know, Sir Issac Newton is famous for his discovery of gravity. He was a British physicist and mathematician who was also responsible for discovering many concepts such as the binomial theorem, calculus, and fluxional equations.

He did thought experiments with things like planetary motion, the rotation of planets around a star or other celestial body. This led him to discover the universal law of gravitation that explains how force predominantly acts against an object which has mass.

Newton also became fascinated with ongoing discoveries during that time and some important questions that came. He asked himself - if apples fall down due to earth's gravity, then why doesn't the moon fall down to the earth?

To answer this question, he tried to calculate the force of attraction between earth and the moon. Through this study, he invented calculus! 

It was discovered because there was a need to have a tool that could enable calculating changing quantities. This discovery proved to be revolutionary for mankind.

Calculus was such a powerful (mathematical) tool during that time and even today which helps us determine changing quantities (Velocity, Acceleration, Impulse, etc). Newton was able to do all this while sitting under a tree with just books and papers!

In a nutshell, questions have the ability to stimulate, provoke, inform & inspire. 

So the moral of this story is - 'There's no stupid question. Stupid people don't ask questions.'

Article by: Abhinav Tanksale, on 27 February 2022, at 01:30 am Los Angeles time

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