#### Bulg. J. Phys. vol.42 no.2 (2015), pp. 099-127

#### Ordered Fields, the Purge of Infinitesimals from Mathematics and the Rigorousness of Infinitesimal Calculus

J.F. Hall

go back^{}, T.D. Todorov^{}*California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA-93407, USA*Abstract.We present a characterization of the completeness of the field of real numbers in the form of a \emph{collection of several equivalent statements} borrowed from algebra, real analysis, general topology, and non-standard analysis. We also discuss the completeness of non-Archimedean fields and present several examples of such fields. As an application, we exploit the characterization of the reals to argue that the Leibniz-Euler infinitesimal calculus in the 17th–18th centuries was already a rigorous branch of mathematics — at least much more rigorous than most contemporary mathematicians prefer to believe. By advocating our particular historical point of view, we hope to provoke a discussion on the importance of mathematical rigor in mathematics and science in general. This article is directed to all mathematicians and scientists who are interested in the foundations of mathematics and the history of infinitesimal calculus.