Thomas Harriot on continuous compounding

  title={Thomas Harriot on continuous compounding},
  author={N. Biggs},
  journal={BSHM Bulletin: Journal of the British Society for the History of Mathematics},
  pages={66 - 74}
  • N. Biggs
  • Published 2013
  • Mathematics
  • BSHM Bulletin: Journal of the British Society for the History of Mathematics
In the unpublished papers of Thomas Harriot (BL Add Ms 6782 f. 67) there is a remarkable calculation.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… Expand
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