The slope formula determines the position of a line with respect to its “x” and “y” coordinates. This mathematical calculation is the concern of Analytical Geometry which solves linear and geometric problem with the aid of Algebra. Thus, to the question who discovered the slope formula, it is necessary to look into who started Analytic Geometry.
Rene Descartes 1596
Rene or Renee Decartes is the father of Analytical Geometry. He was a French mathematician, physicist, philosopher, and theologian. Many mathematics experts acknowledge him as the man who discovered the slope formula. He was said to have provided a method to solve the problem of lines and slopes in mathematics by his prowess in Algebra and Geometry. The basic slope formula is y=mx+b while the more complex point-slope formula is y-yl=m(x-x1).
Because Descartes is the father of Analytical Geometry and this subject centers mostly on lines and slopes, he was the first to introduce solutions to slopes and linear problems. Though not many write-ups point to him directly as the slope formula discoverer, many mathematicians feel the title rightfully belongs to him.
Laying the Grounds
Descartes also laid the grounds for the basics of Calculus. Newton and Leibniz picked up where Descartes left off. Descartes started exploring with his infinitesimal calculus to remedy the tangent line mathematical quandary. As time passed and with the frequent use and manipulation of the formula, the foundation for modern calculus was paved. Thus, Descartes was not just the person who discovered the slope formula but also provided the basics for other branches of modern mathematics as well.
Among the branches of mathematics Descartes helped mold was Physics, particularly in the study of momentum and force. He developed the law of momentum conservation. Being the man who discovered the slope formula, he also helped develop the advance of Cartesian Geometry with his adroit skill in transposing algebraic formulas to define Geometry. He also introduced superscripts for exponential power notations. The slope formula discoverer made it easier to express squaring variables in written form.
Philosopher and Scientist
The man who discovered the slope formula was also into life meditations. He came up with a write-up on “Meditations of First Philosophy.” His talent at defining accurately what his world presented to him gave him the ability to express both mathematical and philosophical observations in theories. Descartes figured prominently in the Scientific Revolution of his time. He died in February 1650 at the age of 54.