Questions tagged [biographical-details]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2
votes
2answers
135 views

What navigation instrument did Leibniz develop?

My question refers to Gottfried Leibniz's "instrumentum longuitidimum" mentioned in some sites — a device that could record the course of a ship in sea and display its recent position directly on a ...
2
votes
0answers
141 views

How did Gauss arrived at the formula for the circumference of circle in hyperbolic geometry?

My question refers to Gauss's hyperbolic sine expression for a circle circumference in hyperbolic geometry with constant negative curvature. In particular, what specific conceptual developements it ...
5
votes
2answers
263 views

When did Gauss introduce “Gauss' planetary equations”?

"Gauss' planetary equations" are a set of equations that describe the rate of change of the six elements of a planetary orbit in the presence of a disturbing force. I just intend to ask in which of ...
4
votes
1answer
223 views

Did Einstein ever refer to the coordinate speed/velocity of light?

In modern parlance we talk about two different speeds of light in general relativity. We distinguish between the local speed of light, which is always $c$, and the coordinate speed of light, which can ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Why Edward Turner Bennett died early

I'd like to know, why Edward Turner Bennett, English zoologist, died at that early age (39 years) and was it in any connection to his work (like killed by some animal or as an effect of some disease, ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Did light bulb companies commission Planck to study black body radiation?

Background When introducing Planck's switch to looking at black-body radiation, a number of sources -- like MinutePhysics, the Economist, random online encyclopaedias and even here on HSM.SE (plus ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Why does Newton claim : “Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth.”?

Basically, why did Newton write : "Plato is my friend — Aristotle is my friend — but my greatest friend is truth." ? What were the influences of these two on him ?
3
votes
0answers
123 views

Was Alexis Clairaut the first to discover Clairaut's theorem for the variation of gravity on spheroids?

My question refers to the problem of the figure of the earth, and is intended to establish if Isaac Newton was or was not the first to discover the equation for the variation of gravity with latitude ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Why couldn't Huygens explain diffraction using his principle?

Huygens' principle seemed quite complete in this description if applied correctly. I noticed that Fresnel was credited in the Huygens-Fresnel principle, as well. I think it is because he was able to ...
4
votes
1answer
112 views

Did Isaac Newton derive the expression for the speed of water waves in both shallow water and deep water approximations?

My questions refer to propositions 44-46 of section 8 of book 2 of Isaac Newton's principia, where Newton draws analogy between oscillations of water in a U - shaped tube and water waves in deep water....
10
votes
1answer
805 views

Did Cauchy forget or lose mathematical papers aside from Abel's and Galois's?

Augustin-Louis Cauchy was a prolific writer, his writings range widely in mathematics and mathematical physics. As a professor at École Polytechnique he came in contact and reviewed Abel's and Galois' ...
11
votes
2answers
255 views

Seeking anecdote on Emmy Noether and possibly Emil Artin

I have lost the reference to a story of someone (I believe it was Emil Artin) who found a strategy for understanding Emmy Noether's rapid delivery of new ideas during walks. It was to walk fast ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

Galois Biography References

Note: This was first posted in the Mathematics StackExchange, from which I was redirected to here. Forgive me if this violates any crossposting rules I'm not currently aware of. I'm currently ...
4
votes
0answers
228 views

What color were Emmy Noether's eyes? [closed]

I have reposted this question from MathOverflow because it is questionably relevant there. I am looking for a reference that definitively says what the color of Emmy Noether's eyes were. More ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

Did Newton find geodesics on curved surfaces in Principia?

My question reffers to section X of book 1 of Isaac Newton's Principia, that deals with motion of particles on curved surfaces. I read that in proposition 56 Newton found the trajectory of a particle ...
4
votes
2answers
163 views

Did F. P. Ramsey complete a graduate degree?

There are numerous online sources giving biographical sketches of Ramsey's life; E.g., Wikipedia, Cambridge respository, St. Andrews MacTutor. We learn that Ramsey died just before his 27th birthday ...
5
votes
1answer
233 views

Einstein's readings of popular sciences as a kid

“At the age of 12 to 16 I familiarized myself with the elements of mathematics together with the principles of differential and integral calculus. In doing so I had the good fortune of finding books ...
9
votes
1answer
584 views

How did Grothendieck encounter and adopt the categorical language?

Apparently the first mathematical publication of Grothendieck where he uses the terms “functor” and “category” in the technical sense is the Kansas report. From where Grothendieck had knowledge of ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

Is there any significance to Newton's theorem on decaying orbits in book 2 of his Principia?

My question refers to proposition 15 in book 2 of Isaac Newton's principia. In this proposition Newton stated sevaral corollaries on the orbital motion of bodies under a certain law of central force ...
0
votes
1answer
247 views

Are there any accounts of famous Mathematicians/Scientists and their dogs, or any pets in general? [closed]

I know this is probably a precise and odd question, but I'm curious to know if any famous Mathematicians or Scientist had pets. I'm really looking for Mathematicians and dogs but I thought it better ...
8
votes
2answers
375 views

Did Gödel consider himself primarily a philosopher who is interested in mathematics (instead of the other way round)?

Kurt Gödel is one of the "best" logicians of the 20th century. Here, the user "Jeffrey Kegler" states that: Kurt Gödel considered himself a philosopher who did mathematics, rather than as a ...
5
votes
1answer
222 views

Did Archimedes make use of a Pappus chain according to the Book of Lemmas?

My question is only about a certain hystorical gem. The purpose of this question is to explore how vast were Archimedes's contributions to geometry that are not connected to calculus (i.e calculation ...
11
votes
1answer
249 views

What were Hilbert's weekly 1933 lectures on “matters of general intellectual interest” about?

Saunders Mac Lane says he attended Hilbert's weekly lectures on "matters of general intellectual interest" around 1931 or 1933 (Saunders Mac Lane: A Mathematical Autobiography p. 44). I believe these ...
3
votes
0answers
130 views

Why do so many books attach such importance to Newton's solution to the problem of orthogonal trajectories?

The question is about the problem of orthogonal trajectories which newton solved in 1716 (in response to Leibniz's challenge) by deriving the general differential equation which the orthogonal family ...
6
votes
2answers
329 views

Did Newton find the trajectory of a body moving in uniform gravity under the quadratic resistance law (the ballistic problem)?

I'm very confused by contradicting accounts of a supposed solution by Newton to the problem of finding the trajectory of a projectile moving under uniform gravity against resistance that is ...
11
votes
1answer
532 views

What is know about Grothendieck's capacity of work?

A lot has been said about Grothendieck's capacity of work, but what we know? (with references if possible) how was the work-day of Grothendieck, how many hours to day, what about his sleep? What is ...
12
votes
1answer
967 views

Did Grothendieck really say that he felt “clumsy, even oafish, wandering painfully up an arduous track”?

Here I found the following quote, attributed to the great Grothendieck: Since then I’ve had the chance in the world of mathematics that bid me welcome, to meet quite a number of people, both among my ...
9
votes
1answer
471 views

Does anyone know the physics student who passed a quantum mechanics oral exam without taking quantum mechanics?

Many years ago I read an interview with a physics professor, where he recounted a funny situation when he was a graduate student at Harvard. When a first year, he was supposed to take the quantum ...
3
votes
0answers
287 views

Are there primitive Pythagoras triplets (in integers), being with all the terms as powerful numbers?

I'm searching a trusted historical sources about primitive Pythagoras triplets as being powerful integers (numerical examples), or a notable work of impossibility of such a triples, but couldn't find ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

What innovations did Leibniz introduce in his design of the fountain of the Herrenhausen Gardens?

As is obvious from my previous questions, i'm very curius to learn as much as i can about Leibniz's inventions, simply because i think his inventions contain that kind of technological ingenuity that ...
2
votes
1answer
154 views

What were Leibniz's concrete contributions to the life sciences?

I read at many places that Leibniz made a lot of contributions to biology, anatomy, medicine, paleontology and other related life sciences, but I couldn't find concrete contributions of him to these ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

What was the topological constant which Gauss derived in the context of his investigations in electromagnetism and knot theory?

My question refers to the following problem in electromagnetic theory which Gauss was concerned with (see Zur theorie der electrodynamik, volume 5 of Gauss's werke): Determine the work done on a ...
4
votes
1answer
222 views

Did Leibniz sketch a design for a machine capable of solving a system of linear equations?

My question is based on the information given in the book "the tangled origins of the leibnizian calculus", at pages 108 -109. I know that leibniz invented the stepped drum and used it to build the ...
0
votes
1answer
146 views

Biography on Georg Cantor

I am looking for biographical works about Georg Cantor's life. All I have found right now are short encyclopedia-style articles that skim the important points of his life or works mainly focused on ...
2
votes
0answers
148 views

What were the scientific principles of Gauss's photometer?

I read in several sites that Gauss made several contributions to technology, and that his main contributions were: the heliotrope, improvements of several optical devices (telescopes, introduction of ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

Claims of mathematical breakthroughs while in an altered state of consciousness?

A similar question is found below: Scientific progress claimed to be caused by dreaming Has anyone ever made similar claims regarding other altered states of consciousness, besides dreaming? I know ...
3
votes
4answers
555 views

Did Kronecker attribute immutable origin to the integers?

The familiar quote is often incorrectly attributed to Kronecker directly. Actually a colleague of his named Weber claimed after Kronecker's death that Kronecker said this. I have doubts about this ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Kronecker vs Cantor — who won?

Now set theory is taught even to kids and it is the foundation of mathematics. Can we say that Cantor won?
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Ludwig Boltzmann: life and work

Could you suggest a good biographic book about the life and work of the physicist Ludwig Boltzmann?
2
votes
1answer
217 views

“Goofy ideas” of Harry Nyquist?

I was watching this lecture series by Dr. Richard Hamming on "Learning to Learn" and in this link, he describes Harry Nyquist as a great man who could do two things, you dont meet very often. He ...
5
votes
2answers
244 views

Was the Principia ever used as a textbook of physics for the people wanting to learn?

For example in the early days, when it was the only way to learn Newtonian mechanics? Was it good as a textbook?
15
votes
1answer
303 views

What kind of mathematical education did Leibniz have?

It doesn't seem that he began his life in mathematics. Does anyone know how it came to be ? What did he read ?
2
votes
1answer
154 views

What were Gauss's contributions to capillarity?

I'm writing a wikipedia article in a certain language in which i intend to include a summary of Gauss's contibutions to capillarity. I know that he derived Young - Laplace equation using a new ...
11
votes
2answers
737 views

What is the original source for Abel's quote about Gauss:“He is like the fox, who effaces his tracks in the sand with his tail”?

According to the editor of the German version of Ian Stewart's "The Problems of Mathematics", on page 226 of the biography of Gauß authored by Erich Worbs (C. F. Gauß: Ein Lebensbild. Koehler & ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

An English copy of One Hundred Authors Against Einstein?

I've been trying to find the famous article, "One hundred authors against Einstein" (100 Autoren gegen Einstein), of various objections to special relativity, which is quite often referenced, but ...
3
votes
0answers
91 views

Edward Lorenz and sensitivity to initial conditions

Lore says that Edward Lorenz found out that atmosphere fluidodynamics was very sensitive to initial conditions when he stopped a numerical simulation, dutifully copied the partial results, and after ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Did Feynman develop QED based on Stueckelberg's manuscript?

I found some rumors on the internet regarding Stückelbergs manuscript and it's role for the development of QED. In a comment on here somebody writes: Crease and Mann say in their book The Second ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Did Daniel Bernoulli state van der Waals equation?

I read in some places that Daniel Bernoulli anticipated van der Waals equation by a century in section 10 of his Hydrodynamica. Most sources state that he only discovered one idea in the model; that ...
6
votes
4answers
343 views

Who are the mathematicians Cammaille and Schouder, mentioned by Heisenberg when recalling mathematicians who died during the Second World War?

I found there (on page 98) the following quote : Heisenberg: During the war I had five calls for help in cases where people were murdered by our people. One was Soloman, Hoffman's son-in law. I ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

How was Leonardo of Pisa's book liber abbaci distributed?

In 1202 Leonardo of Pisa, later known as Fibonacci, wrote, in his book "liber abbaci", his explanation of a means of expressing numbers, and manipulating them, that gave us arithmetic as we know it ...

1
3 4
5
6 7