Taylor, Brook,1685–1731, English mathematician. He originated Taylor's theorem, a formula important in differential calculus, which relates a function to its derivatives by means of a power series. This theorem was set forth in his Methodus incrementorum directa et inversa (1715), which gave the first published treatment of the calculus of finite differences. His Linear Perspective (1715) expounded the principle of vanishing points and was of value to artists. His solution to the problem of the center of oscillation led to a translation into mathematical terms of the mechanical principles governing the vibration of a string.
Born Aug. 18, 1685, in Edmonton, Middlesex; died Dec. 29, 1731, in London. British mathematician. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1712).
In 1712, Taylor found a general formula for the expansion of functions in power series, which he published in 1715 in his Methodus incrementorum directa et inversa (Direct and Indirect Methods of Incrementation). In the same work, he initiated the mathematical study of the vibration of a string. He made important contributions to the development of the theory of finite differences. Taylor also wrote on a number of other problems, including perspective, the center of oscillation, the flight of projectiles, the interaction of magnets, and capillarity. He devoted his later years to the study of philosophy.