What does this line of Isaac Newton's rap video mean?

In summary, the conversation is discussing a mathematical integral that has a historical reference to Sir Isaac Newton. The integral, which is also mentioned in a calculus limerick, involves the use of imaginary numbers and was considered unsolvable by Newton and other great thinkers of his time. The reference to "Descartes' i" suggests that René Descartes eventually solved the equation involving imaginary numbers. The conversation also mentions a wiki page dedicated to a rap battle between Sir Isaac Newton and Bill Nye, where the integral is referenced.
  • #1
Jamin2112
986
12
Go to 1:24 of this video:

He recalls some integral he wrote at a young age:

" ... times the sixty-fourth power of ... what?" and looks confused. At 1:44 Neil Degrasse Tyson says, "By the way, the answer to your little calculation is i."

Can someone explain the historical reference to me? Was there some integral that Sir Isaac Newton could never solve?
 
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  • #2
The integral sec y dy from zero to one-sixth of pi is log to base e of the square root of three times the sixty-fourth power of what?!

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(While the concept of imaginary numbers and i existed during Newton's time, he and other great thinkers of the time (such as René Descartes, that later solved the equation with "Descartes' i") dismissed the idea of imaginary numbers as fanciful. Thus, despite his best powers of deduction, Newton was stymied by the equation he wrote and thought it unsolvable.)

This also comes from a calculus limerick which reads similar to Newton's line:

"The integral sec y dy (pronounced "seek y dee y'")
From zero to one-sixth of pi
Is log to base e
Of the square root of three
Times the 64th power of
i"

http://epicrapbattlesofhistory.wikia.com/wiki/Sir_Isaac_Newton_vs_Bill_Nye/Rap_Meanings
 
  • #4
I have the book in which this is written in but I can't find what section
 

1. What is the context of this line in Isaac Newton's rap video?

The context of this line depends on the specific line in question. However, in general, Newton's rap video is a humorous and creative way to explain his laws of motion and universal gravitation.

2. Why did Isaac Newton make a rap video?

It is believed that Newton made a rap video as a fun and engaging way to explain complex scientific concepts to a wider audience. He wanted to make science more accessible and interesting to people of all backgrounds.

3. What is the meaning behind the lyrics in Newton's rap video?

The lyrics in Newton's rap video are meant to explain his famous laws of motion and universal gravitation in a catchy and memorable way. Each line has a specific scientific meaning related to these concepts.

4. How accurate is Newton's rap video in terms of scientific content?

While the rap video may not be a completely accurate representation of Newton's laws and theories, it is a creative and simplified way to introduce these concepts to a wider audience. It should not be used as a substitute for in-depth scientific understanding.

5. Is there any significance to the rap genre in relation to Isaac Newton's work?

There is no known significance to the rap genre in relation to Newton's work. However, it is speculated that he may have chosen this genre for its fast-paced and rhythmic nature, which could relate to the concepts of motion and gravity in his theories.

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