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Dunham begins the chapter with a description of the controversy hinted at in the previous chapter concerning the discovery of the calculus. Newton developed the method as a student, but had never published it. Only a few mathematicians are familiar with it from seeing his handwritten notes. A German mathematician, Gottfried Leibniz, visits Britain and sees Newton's notes and is intrigued by this method. He returns to Paris and corresponds with Newton. Leibniz eventually refines and develops a method of calculus of his own and publishes it under his name. British scholars accuse him of plagiarizing Newton. While Leibniz admits the basics are drawn from Newton's work, the method is his own he replies. The controversy rages on on both sides. Today, both Newton and Leibniz are given credit for independently discovering the method.

Two of Leibniz's students are the brothers Jakob and...

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This section contains 494 words(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page) |