talk.origins probability-abiogenesis FAQ criticized

David Ewan Kahana dek at bnl.gov
Fri Jan 12 19:35:10 EST 2001

David Ewan Kahana wrote:

> Jonathan Stone wrote:
> > In article <3A5E4252.525566D7 at research.bell-labs.com>,
> > Ken Cox  <kcc at lucent.com> wrote:
> > >zOz wrote:
> >
> [snip]
> >
> > >his physics and optics founded new fields.
> >
> > and the calculus went a fair way, too.  (Didn't Newton invent
> > the calulus of variations overnight, to solve what was essentially
> > a dinner-table puzzle? or is that academic legend?)
> >
> That would be the problem of the curve of least time connecting
> two points in a gravitational field, to which the solution is
> a brachistochrone?

Sorry, please read cycloid for brachistochrone here. The brachistochrone
is of course the minimum time curve connecting two points for a given
type of force field. In a uniform gravitational field the solution is a cycloid.

Anyway, I am pretty sure that it was Bernoulli who invented the problem.


- dave k.

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