Archive for History of Exact Sciences

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 115–126 | Cite as

Wallis's product, Brouncker's continued fraction, and Leibniz's series

  • Jacques Dutka


A historical sketch is given of Wallis's infinite product for 4/π, and of the attempts which have been made, over more than three centuries, to find the method by which Brouncker obtained his equivalent continued fraction. A derivation of Brouncker's formula is given. Early results obtained by Indian mathematicians for the series for π/4, later named for Leibniz, are reviewed and extended. A conjecture is made concerning Brouncker's method of obtaining close bounds for π.


Early Result Continue Fraction Close Bound Infinite Product Indian Mathematician 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH & Co. KG 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacques Dutka
    • 1
  1. 1.Audits & Surveys, Inc.New York City

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