56 HomeYamamoto and the Secret Admirers
Neal Stephenson


Gottfried Wilhelm von Liebniz (1646-1716)
Gottfried Wilhelm von Liebniz was a German mathematician and philosopher who was best known for his discovery of calculus he also had an interest in Symbolic Logic, which forms the underlying principles of digital computing.

Leibniz's initial interests did not include mathematics but it was through his interests in philosophy and logic that he was drawn into this arena. He published Dissertatio de arte combinatorial, with the aim of reducing all truths of reason to a system of arithmetic. This work directed him towards ideas for the development of infinitesimal calculus that he is most famous for.

A breakthrough in mathematics and physics came in 1670s when both Liebniz in Germany and Newton in England independently recognized the inverse relationship between differentiation and integration. This relationship became condensed into the fundamental theorem of Calculus.

Liebniz is also known for his work on binary numbers. Chinese mathematicians had been aware of binary numbers from around the 5th century on but it was Liebniz that set them into a serious numerical system.

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