A Brief History of Mathematics

Marcus du Sautoy argues that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science: Newton, Leibniz and calculus.

This ten-part history of mathematics reveals the personalities behind the calculations: the passions and rivalries of mathematicians struggling to get their ideas heard. Marcus du Sautoy shows how these masters of abstraction find a role in the real world and proves that mathematics is the driving force behind modern science.

Today, the story of two late 17th century mathematicians who worked on the same problem at the same time - the calculus - in which the great hero of British science, Newton, reveals himself to be a little less gentlemanly than his German rival, Leibniz. The calculus is one of the greatest achievements of mankind: an astronaut and an investment analyst pay homage to its enormous power.

Producer: Anna Buckley

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