626: Newton and Leibniz

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 14:05, 30 September 2014 by (talk) (Explanation: Also put on sunglasses.)
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Newton and Leibniz


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

In calculus a derivative is the result of mathematical differentiation: the instantaneous rate of change of a function relative to its argument, and denoted df(x)/dx. Another way to think of the derivative is as a plot of all the slopes of lines tangent to the graph of a function. However, the literary word derivative means developed from something older.

The pun is that Newton is claiming that Leibniz's mathematical derivative is a derivative, or descendant, from his earlier development of this 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 or putting on 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 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)