Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

Differential calculus
(735 words)

“Differential” and “fluxion” calculus are basic terms in infinitesimals, invented by G.W. Leibniz and I. Newton. In Newton's version of infinitesimal calculation “flowing” entities, so-called fluents, are examined, the momentary change velocities are called “fluxions”. The “differentials” of Leibnizian differential calculus on the other hand are differences between two infinitely close conditions of an entity, that is, “infinitely small” entities (Analysis, mathematical). Despite these differences in conceptuality and the symbolism used, in the course…

Cite this page
Jahnke, Hans Niels, “Differential calculus”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 22 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_018336>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20170626



▲   Back to top   ▲