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I First drawing of a Cartesian Graph?

  1. Aug 1, 2016 #1
    OK, so a LONG time ago I believe I saw a small drawing by Newton which represented the first true drawing of a Cartesian graph with an x and y axis and "O" at the origin.
    Now (that I'm old and can't remember what I had for breakfast) I'd like to find it but can't remember where it was.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2016 #2


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    I thought Descartes came up with Cartesian coordinates after Newton was dead. If not, then he (Newton) was getting close. Since Descartes invented the system, it seems likely that HE was the first to use it. Of course Newton WAS a smart guy so he may have done something similar before Descartes formalized it. I suspect one of our math whizzes will have a better grasp of this history than I do.
  4. Aug 1, 2016 #3


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    At least it is possible since Descartes' (1596 - 1650) work caused Newton (1643 - 1727) to change the title of his Principia to Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica.
    There are several drawings in it which can be regarded as a coordinate system. However, I didn't found a scale or a label ##x##.

  5. Aug 1, 2016 #4


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    ACK !!! Boy was I ever off on the dates for Descartes. Oh well, history is not my strong suit. o:)
  6. Aug 15, 2016 #5
    Newton has been talking about polar coordinates in his Method of Fluxions..probably you mixed it up with cartesian graph
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