## ABSTRACT

A significant development of the Scientific Revolution was the discovery and derivation of mathematical equations that could be used to describe the behavior of physical systems. For example, the equations of planetary motion derived from Newton’s laws enable one to predict where a planet will be located at any given date in the future, based on its present position and velocity. Inspired by this example, scientists in succeeding centuries developed equations to describe temperature distributions in thermal systems, fluid motion, the response of bridges and buildings to applied loads, electromagnetic and quantum mechanical phenomena. The use of mathematical equations to predict the behavior of physical systems has been extended far beyond the initial realms of astronomy and physics to describe the spread of disease, chemical reaction rates, traffic flow, and economic models.