Leonhard Euler

But it was Euler whose work really established calculus as the basic tool of the mathematical sciences. Euler also carried forward another aspect of Newton’s legacy, by showing that Newtonian theories of motion and gravitation gave incredibly accurate predictions of the motions of the Moon and other planetary phenomena. He made advances across an astonishing range of subjects, from the very pure to the very applied, in a way that would be impossible today. His publications covered physics, astronomy, acoustics, ballistics and gunnery, cartography, navigation and shipbuilding, optics and the theory of music, as well as number theory and the foundations of calculus.

Euler’s gifts were remarkable. He had great energy and an exceptional memory; he could recite the entire text of Virgil’s “Aeneid” by heart. His productivity was equally amazing. Over his career, he wrote more than 850 publications, including 18 books. His collected works run to more than 80 large volumes, and have been appearing steadily since 1910 (a few volumes remain to be published).

Leonhard Euler: Mathematical Genius in the Enlightenment.  File under, would like to read soon. http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10531.html

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