Leonhard Euler Essay

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Leonhard Euler was easily the best mathematician of the eighteenth century. His contributions to mathematics ranges from common notation to proving the hypothesis of Newton and Leibnitz. His discoveries cannot be limited to just one field of interest, nor just the field of mathematics. He made great strides in geometry, infinitesimal calculus, trigonometry, algebra, and number theory, as well as continuum physics, lunar theory and other areas of physics. He is also one of the most well written mathematicians whose works could be contained in 60–80 quarto volumes. Probably the most extraordinary fact about him is that the majority of the work he did was in the last twenty years of his life, when he was completely blind. Euler is arguably one of the greatest mathematicians who ever lived. Leonhard Paul Euler was born the son of a pastor on April 15, 1707 in Basel, Switzerland. Soon after he was born, his family moved to Riehen, where Leonhard would spend most of his childhood. Leonhard’s father, Paul, was good friends with the Bernoulli family, whose patriarch, Johann Bernoulli, was then viewed as Europe’s leading mathematician. Bernoulli would eventually become a great influence on Leonhard’s life. When Leonhard was thirteen, he was sent to live with his maternal grandmother in Basel, where he enrolled in the University of Basel and eventually earned his Master’s in Philosophy, and wrote his dissertation comparing the philosophies of Newton and Descartes. Euler was following in his father’s footsteps, studying theology, Greek, and Hebrew, and was determined to become a pastor. However, Johann Bernoulli was convinced Euler was destined to become a great mathematician, and talked Paul Euler into letting his son pursue his own passio... ... middle of paper ... ...he was practically blind. This setback did not slow him down because he managed to publish the majority of his work during this stage of his life, which is truly astounding. He got by due to phenomenal memory, advanced mental calculation skills, and the aid of scribes. Euler was truly unstoppable in the field of mathematics. As you can see, Euler provided a great deal to the world of mathematics. From developing notation, formulas, and important constants, to proving formulas and equations that stumped most other mathematicians of his day, there was almost nothing he could not do that involved mathematics. He was an instrumental figure in developing the future of modern mathematics and is credited in help developing pre-calculus, calculus, and differential equations. While he is not a household name, he is very easily the greatest mathematician to have ever lived.

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