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Position function and its derivatives

  1. Mar 28, 2015 #1
    Okay so I'm currently in cal 3. I've also taken physics 1 and 2. When I first saw the position function differentiated into velocity and then to acceleration I was awestruck. Math is beautiful and divinely structured. That's what I thought.

    But as I've gone on and worked with it more and more a question has occurred. Newton created the basics of calculus. Much of what I have learned has been additions to his foundation, all the theorems and methods that allow for more complex integration and differentiation.

    Now to my question. Did Newton create the position function? Was it created with the ability to then derive velocity and acceleration from it in mind?

    Or was it something "discovered"?

    I may be asking the wrong question here. Please guide me in the right direction if I am. The more math I've studied the more I see its beauty. I may not be the most studious but I'm definitely a curious person.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2015 #2


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    Mathematics was primitive when Newton was alive. Newton expressed his thinking more in sentences and diagrams than in functions and equations. A lot of the abstraction and symbology we use today in mathematics was developed since then.
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