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Calculus is the culmination of a dramatic intellectual struggle which has lasted for over 2500 years and has proved itself to be the greatest achievement of western civilization.
The Nodding Sphere and the Bird's Beak: D'Alembert's Dispute with Euler
1749 was a typically productive year in the middle period of Leonhard Euler’s career. Among the many articles he prepared for publication that year, five were destined for the journal of the Berlin Academy, where he was the director of the mathematics department. However, four of these provoked controversy with Jean le Rond d’Alembert, who believed that one of the articles was mistaken and the other three contained results that he himself had first discovered and for which Euler had not given him due credit.
The purpose of this article is to explain this controversy between Euler and d’Alembert and to provide links to English translations of all four of the offending articles, as well as of the brief notice that Euler inserted in the 1750 volume of the Academy’s journal, where he acknowledged d’Alembert’s priority for two of the papers in question.
Jean le Rond d'Alembert
If you want to go directly to the translations, here are the links:
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