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"Improper" Integral

  1. Dec 6, 2014 #1
    Does anyone know who coined the term "Improper" Integral, and why they chose the word improper? I couldn't find anything on the etymology of it via searching here or searching google, duckduckgo, and yahoo. Thanks for any info or direction to info.
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 6, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Don't know who coined it, but they chose "improper" I suppose because it wasn't a proper integral; i.e., one where the integrand was defined on the closed interval represented in the limits of integration.
  4. Dec 6, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    If I had to guess I'd say Lebesque. His name comes up when you search it more than Cauchy or Riemann. However, like a lot of math the coiner is some later mathematical descendent who rediscovers and popularizes the work and coins some key ideas in the process.
  5. Dec 6, 2014 #4
    So true. Like Gauss' law. Which Newton discovered, in principle, 100 years before Gauss, and someone else probably discovered before Newton.

    Thank for the replies.
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