Mathematicians and historians piece together a puzzle that Archimedes pondered
At the start of the 20th century, a Danish mathematical historian named Johan Ludvig Heiberg made a once-in-a-lifetime find. Tucked away in the library of a monastery in Istanbul was a medieval parchment containing copies of the works of the ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes, including two never-before-seen essays. To mathematicians' astonishment, one of the new essays contained many of the key ideas of calculus, a subject supposedly invented two millennia after Archimedes' time. The essay caused a sensation and landed Heiberg's discovery on the front page of a 1907 New York Times.