Gottfried Leibniz, German mathematician

Gottfried Leibniz, German mathematician

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Caption: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716), German mathematician. Leibniz studied a wide range of subjects, gaining a law doctorate. He worked as a lawyer and diplomat, being involved in planning a French invasion of Egypt. Meanwhile he discovered calculus (after, but independently of Newton) and combinatorial analysis. Leibniz created a calculating machine which could divide, multiply and find square roots unlike Pascal's simpler adding and subtracting machine. He had an atomist philosophy, believing atoms were the basic unit of matter. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1673. This woodcut dates from 1880.

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