Questions tagged [biographical-details]

For questions about the details of a particular scientist's life.

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13 views

What was Lagrange's contribution to the Knights Tour Problem?

Did Lagrange made any noteworthy contribution to the Knights tour problem?
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Did Lagrange finish his law degree during the 1750s?

According to this Lagrange enrolled in the University of Turin to study law in the 1750 but eventually shifted to math.
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Did Lagrange started studying mathematics in 1752 or 1753?

Some articles indicate that he started studying maths "after reading an article by Edmund Halley" in 1753 but in this paper it is claimed that he started studying mathematics in 1752
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What did Hans Bethe think of von Neumann's quantum logic?

Nobel laureate Hans Bethe was a friend of mathematician-physicist John von Neumann, and he once said: "I have sometimes wondered whether a brain like von Neumann's does not indicate a species ...
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222 views

Gauss on philosophers

Carl Friedrich Gauss said: When a philosopher says something that is true then it is trivial. When he says something that is not trivial then it is false. On one occasion I read that supposedly ...
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Jean-Christophe Yoccoz (May 29, 1957 – September 3, 2016)

Outstanding French mathematician had also his Brasilian chapter in his life (or two chapters?). I'd like to know more. The en.wikipedia tells us that Yoccoz was born, raised and educated in France, "...
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Did Heisenberg defend that Germany should rule Europe?

The following has been attributed to the German physicist Werner Heisenberg: History legitimizes Germany to rule Europe and later the world. Only a nation that rules ruthlessly can maintain itself. ...
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Where to get more biographical information about Fritz Peter?

Fritz Peter (1899–1949) is known mainly as one of the authors of the Peter-Weyl theorem. This theorem appears in a paper (Die Vollständigkeit der primitiven Darstellungen einer geschlossenen ...
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What happened to the undergrad students who attended the Feynman Lecture Series in 1961-63?

Note: This question was originally asked here, but I was wondering if I could get further clarification as this has truly intrigued me. In the academic years of 1962-2 and 1962-3, Richard Feynman ...
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Women in mathematics

I'd like to read something about the history of women in mathematics. I'd love to have reading suggestions of books in English or Italian, of 3 kinds: 1) History of math books, academic style; 2) ...
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180 views

Identification of scientists in de Gennes book

Petit Point: A Candid Portrait on the Aberrations of Science is a charming book written by the French physicist Pierre-Gilles de Gennes containing short essays on some of the prominent scientists that ...
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What was the relationship between Einstein and Minkowski?

I read many Einstein's Biographies, but Minkowski was never mentioned, though his discovery of the union of space and time created the basis for GR. Minkowski was Einstein's teacher of mathematics ...
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Did Paul Dirac believe in multiple universes?

Prominent physicist Paul Dirac proposed a hypothesis that said that constants and laws of physics would evolve with time into different constants and laws of nature. This hypothesis was used by ...
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173 views

What was the “libration of Pallas” that Gauss studied, when Pallas is not a moon of Jupiter?

This question is a request for general explanation of an astronomical phenomenon known as "Pallas libration", and isn't much about the details of Gauss's mathematical model of this libration. As is ...
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167 views

Did anyone with formal medical education become a known theoretical physicist?

Was there someone in history who became a theoretical physicist after getting a medical education and later taking interest in physics? I am a medical student studying graduate mathematics, and ...
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Two questions about Gauss's contributions to capillarity and the calculus of variations

In the last page of the abstract of Gauss's paper on capillarity "Principia generalia theoriae figurae fluidorum in statu aequilibrii" (1829), the author (who is he?) mentions (Gauss's werke, volume V,...
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Textbooks used by Oliver Heaviside

Oliver Heaviside achieved a very high level in mathematics and physics by self-study, starting from a modest school-level math, and working alone in his room, without a tutor. Is it known what ...
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Is there a biography of Robert Risch?

The Risch algorithm for computing symbolic integrals was developed by Robert Risch in the 1968-70 time frame. Based on the German Wikipedia article, I know that Risch was awarded a Ph.D. by U.C. ...
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425 views

Who all scientists made a mark in the world despite their disabilities?

Stephen Hawking is a famous scientist who despite being disabled made a big contribution to the scientific world. I want to know other such scientists who have a big influence on us.
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Looking for a specific story about young Stephen Hawking

There was a specific account of Stephen Hawking by one of his contemporaries in which Hawking was in his late undergrad or early postgrad. As I remember, there was a small class of physics students (...
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226 views

Great scientists with chaotic private lives

In the arena of art, it is not uncommon to find great writers, composers or painters who suffer from chaotic personal lives (e.g., lifelong alcoholism, addiction to prostitutes, stormy marriages and ...
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Several questions about Gauss's contributions to observational astronomy

I just want to check if anyone has additional information about a private astronomical research begun by Gauss in 1819, which dealt with the "movements of the solar system" in the galaxy (motion of ...
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Did Ludwig Boltzmann ever go to Copenhagen or any other part of Denmark?

Did Ludwig Boltzmann ever go to Copenhagen or any other part of Denmark? I also read that he was appointed "Honorary Doctor" by the university of Oslo. Does this mean that he went to Norway? https://...
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Was Lord Kelvin at any point a proponent of vitalism?

Vitalism is the notion now discredited as pseudoscientific that there is some fundamental cleavage between living and non-living matter. This blog post contains some quotes that suggest Lord Kelvin ...
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Ctesibius discovery of compressed air

I want to know where has he placed the tube and how he adjust the height ? Please refer the link below marked in violet http://lnr.li/m19fP Please explain using simple diagram for better ...
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Discovery of Suction pump

As I know that before Galileo,all the scientists believe that vacuum cannot exists. But how suction pump(which itself remove air)was discovered before Galileo. What was the steps involved in it to ...
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Did John von Neumann ever go to any Nordic Country? Did Eugene Paul Wigner ever go to any other Nordic Country apart from Sweden?

I'm researching about the presence of important scientists in Nordic Countries (Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland). I was hoping that someone could help me since I've not been able to find ...
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Torricellis invention of barometer

Why has he used denser liquid that is mercury? Why didn't he thought of using lighter liquids than water?Please refer the link in the toricellis work in physics marked in violet http://lnr.li/mttgq
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Galileo discovery of vacuum

I want to know how he thought that when his siphon could not raise water more than 10m it may be because of vacuum? Please refer the link below https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Gasparo_Berti
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History behind the word pressure

I want to know who had used the word pressure for the first time and what was the reason for him to use the word pressure. As I searched on google but it is only showing about barometer discovery
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How did Francis Hauksbee know that mercury would glow in his electrostatic generator?

I read that he made a modified version of Otto von Guericke's electrostatic generator but I want to know how he came to know that mercury can glow light in his generator at that time?
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Water conductivity discovery

I read how Benjamin Franklin does the kite experiment in rain but keeping himself and the bottom end dry.I want to know how he know that water can conduct electricity.Please refer the link below and ...
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55 views

Kite experiment

In Benjamin Franklin's kite given in the link below http://www.benjamin-franklin-history.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Franklins-kite.jpg I want to know how electric charge pass through strings as ...
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2answers
126 views

Electric spark discovery

I am searching it on Google but I am not finding,who had discovered static electric spark for the first time,that later Benjamin Franklin proved that this spark(already discovered spark) is same as ...
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Charles du fay experiment

How he get to know which one is positive and which one is negative as stated by him that there are two types of fluid? Also tell how he thought of two fluids?
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Robert Boyle discovery of electricity

I was searching for all the names who discovered electricity. As I was seeing the names, the first name came of William Gilbert and I searched how had he discovered I got to know. Then the second ...
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Were notable physicists great at math or computing? [closed]

Were famous or popular physicists like Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Feynman predominantly mathematicians or scientists (computing, experimenting, engineering, etc.)? I am curious if people like the ...
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650 views

Who are the top mathematicians who were ignored due to their unconventional approach?

A perfect example would be Srinivasa Ramanujan. It is known that the conventional community throughout history have been close-minded towards great men of science and mathematics (e.g., Galileo). ...
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Meaning of a cryptic sentence by Gauss on “the mobility of figures in the hyperbolic plane”

G. Waldo Dunnington writes in pages 189-190 of his biography of Gauss: Among the axioms of geometry which do not depend on the parallel postulate are those which secure the free mobility of a ...
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218 views

Did Cambridge change their BSc policy for Ramanujan?

I found this quote at Quora: In March 1916 Ramanujan graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor of Science by Research (This degree was later renamed as Ph.D. from 1920) for his work on Highly ...
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543 views

Is the anecdote about Niels Bohr keeping a horseshoe on his door true?

I recently came to know of an anecdote about Niels Bohr that the philosopher Slavoj Zizek claims to have read in a biography of Bohr. He doesn't specify the author or the biography. The anecdote ...
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357 views

Who associated the sharp, principal, diffuse, fundamental spectral terms with electron's momentum?

It is well documented that the notation for the electronic configuration (s,p,d,f) of atoms as used today originates from the words sharp, principal, diffuse, fundamental from alkali metal spectra (...
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Biographical informations on Igor Ado

Ado's Theorem is a very reelvant result in Lie theory (every finite-dimensional Lie algebra is isomorphic to a matrix Lie algebra). I've been, however, unable to find anything more than very basics ...
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127 views

Explanation of Gauss's late fragments dealing with “the conformal image of the ellipse”

My question refers to some not very well known fragments of Gauss that treat the problem of finding a conformal mapping (angle-preserving mapping) in the complex plane from the interior of the ellipse ...
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Meaning of passages by Gauss on the “convergence of expansions (in infinite series) of the (elliptical) equation of the center”?

Yesterday I took my time to look again into Schlesinger's essay on Gauss's contributions to analysis, and I found something new I didn't know about (so it caught my eye) in the last subsection of the ...
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Has anything survived of the work of alleged science journalist and medical doctor 'Adolph Klein', allegedly born 1829 in Merseburg?

The Jewish Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jewish_Encyclopedia) contains a sizeable entry on one 'Adolph Klein', allegedly born on 1829-05-29 in ther German city of Halle (Saale). ...
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Is there any historical mention of Richard Feynman being aware of multiverse theories of cosmology?

The reason I ask is because he talks about the fine structure constant in one of his undergraduate lectures. The reference to its mystery is analogous to all the special constants of nature such as ...
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Several questions about Gauss's mathematical conception of braids

I'm trying to figure out several things about Gauss's thoughts concerning a certain four-strand braid. The reference my questions are based on is mainly Moritz Epple's excellent article "orbits of ...
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168 views

Is there anything written by Newton's roommate Wilkins about him?

I've read that John Wilkins was Newton's room-mate and they lived together for 20 years. Is there anything about Newton written by Wilkins? By the way, there is nothing easily found on google.
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A portrait of Bombelli

Is there any known portrait of Rafael Bombelli? I don't think so, but if you visit his MacTutor biography, you will see there this picture: It is clear to me that this cannot possibly be a picture of ...