626: Newton and Leibniz

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Newton and Leibniz


First and foremost Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz both invented calculus independently of each other, as the comic says, about 8 years apart. However, Newton disputed the fact that Leibniz invented calculus independent of him.

In calculus a derivative is the result of mathematical differentiation; the instantaneous change of one quantity relative to another; df(x)/dx. Another way to think of the derivative, is a plot of all the slopes of lines tangent to the original equation. However, the literary word derivative means to develop from something older.

So, the pun is that Newton in the comic is claiming that Leibniz's derivative (meaning: the invention of calculus) is a derivative of (meaning: developed from) his derivative (meaning: calculus).

The comic as a whole is mocking the pattern of corny one-liners that David Caruso often spurts out during the opening scenes of CSI: Miami. The one liner is followed by him dramatically pulling off his sunglasses and then the show breaks into the title sequence which starts with the word "YEEEEAAAAAAAH." This has become a popular Internet meme and was used frequently most recently with Michael Jackson's death.


Newton, 1666
[Newton with long white hair holds up a sheet of paper.]
Newton: I've invented calculus!
Leibniz, 1674
[Leibniz with long black hair holds up a sheet of paper.]
Leibniz: I've invented calculus!
Newton: Really? Sounds a little bit...
[Newton puts on a pair of sunglasses.]
Newton: ...Derivative.

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Is the "break-out sunglasses" a theme on xkcd now?--Classhole 02:38, 24 January 2013 (UTC)

"dramatically pulling off his sunglasses" ?? I'm fairly certain I've never seen the show much less one of these bits, but I thought I understood him to typically be putting on his sunglasses (?) -- Brettpeirce (talk) 14:48, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

The introduction to a glossy Hollywoodland whodunnit is Derivatives? With a take on glasses?
I really need to get a TV and catch up on all the wonderful stuff I have been missing out on.
Does it go into any details about how the two protagonists solved their issues?
I'd really like to see a study on the state of mind that gave the world fluxions and a computer close up of the journey from "fluxions to calculus notation" in 8 years.

I used Google News BEFORE it was clickbait (talk) 00:58, 29 January 2015 (UTC)