# Brachistochrone Problem/Historical Note

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## Historical Note on Brachistochrone Problem

The **Brachistochrone Problem** was raised by Johann Bernoulli to the readers of *Acta Eruditorum* in June $1696$.

Isaac Newton interpreted the problem as a direct challenge to his abilities, and (despite being out of practice) solved the problem in the evening before going to bed.

He published it anonymously, but Bernoulli recognised whose solution it was, and commented:

*I recognise the lion by his print.*

Bernoulli published the solution in the *Acta Eruditorum* in May $1697$, along with solutions by Jacob Bernoulli and Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz.

*With justice we admire Huygens because he first discovered that a heavy particle slides down to the bottom of a cycloid in the same time, no matter where it starts. But you will be petrified with astonishment when I say that this very same cycloid, the tautochrone of Huygens, is also the brachistochrone we are seeking.*

## Also see

## Sources

- 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text{VI}$: On the Seashore - 1937: Eric Temple Bell:
*Men of Mathematics*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text{VIII}$: Nature or Nurture? - 1972: George F. Simmons:
*Differential Equations*... (previous) ... (next): $\S 3$: Appendix $\text B$: Newton - 1992: George F. Simmons:
*Calculus Gems*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {A}.18$: Newton ($\text {1642}$ – $\text {1727}$) - 1992: George F. Simmons:
*Calculus Gems*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {A}.20$: The Bernoulli Brothers - 1992: George F. Simmons:
*Calculus Gems*... (previous) ... (next): Chapter $\text {B}.21$: The Cycloid - 1998: David Nelson:
*The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics*(2nd ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**brachistochrone** - 2008: David Nelson:
*The Penguin Dictionary of Mathematics*(4th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**brachistochrone** - 2014: Christopher Clapham and James Nicholson:
*The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Mathematics*(5th ed.) ... (previous) ... (next): Entry:**brachistochrone**