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Thomas Harriot on continuous compounding

Biggs, Norman (2013) Thomas Harriot on continuous compounding. BSHM: British Society for the History of Mathematics Bulletin, 28 (2). pp. 66-74. ISSN 1749-8430

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Identification Number: 10.1080/17498430.2013.721331


In the unpublished papers of Thomas Harriot (BL Add Ms 6782 f. 67) there is a remarkable calculation. It concerns what is now known as the continuous compounding of interest, and was probably written before 1620. This article describes the background to Harriot's calculation, and its significance. The general solution of Harriot's problem depended on some of the important mathematical developments in seventeenth century, such as logarithms and infinite series. By 1727 John Arbuthnot was able to give a recognizably modern account of it, but the final step was the work of Leonhard Euler.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2013 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Divisions: Mathematics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2013 15:04
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:37

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