Sunday, April 05, 2020

Infinite Powers

Infinite Powers explores the evolution of calculus and the important roll that it plays in our lives. Both the concepts of "0" and "infinity" are key to the understanding of the world. However, these were not universally understood concepts in the ancient world. Many mathematicians did understand bits of it, but it wasn't until Newton and Leibniz separately put it all together.
Curves had made things difficult for ancient mathematicians. Calculating the area of a circle just didn't come up with a rational number. Different approaches were used to try to calculate the area (such as making many-sided polygons on the inside and out. However, it took the insight of "subdividing" into infinite strips to really come with a conclusion.
Today the approximations and insights from calculus are used extensively in our world. The radio waves we use for communications and the 3d modelling in digital animation are just two of the many things that are made possible through the insights of calculus. Our modern world would not be possible without managing the power of infinity.

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