I was reading the following paper:

On page 4, Landauer gives a construction for a $3$-bit reversible gate. Though his argument for logical irreversibility turned out to be wrong, the gate is the same as the Toffoli gate.

Seeing as this paper was published in 1961, way before Toffoli's paper (circa 1980) which gave the Toffoli gate, I am curious as to why the gate is named after Toffoli and not Landauer.

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    $\begingroup$ Why wouldn’t it be named after Toffoli? Most things in mathematics are not named after their first discoverer. $\endgroup$ – Emil Jeřábek Mar 9 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ @EmilJeřábek Ah! Now that I think of it, it does make sense. I'm still curious as to how the convention came about. I understand that there might not be a 'proper' answer to such a question, and will be glad to accept yours if you can expand your comment into an answer along with some related history. $\endgroup$ – Zargles Mar 10 at 6:39
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    $\begingroup$ There is no convention. At some point, somone gives a concept a name they see as fitting, and sufficiently many other people happen to repeat it so that it sticks. Some other names do not stick. For the most part, it’s all just accident. $\endgroup$ – Emil Jeřábek Mar 10 at 7:53
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    $\begingroup$ Indeed, see Stigler's law (and maybe consider adding this there as an example!) $\endgroup$ – Joshua Grochow Mar 11 at 15:35

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