Questions tagged [reference-request]

For questions that are requesting specific literature references

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Are there any photographs of the original apparatus used by Hertz to demonstrate the photoelectric effect?

There are many schematics and many photographs of tubes used later but I cannot find a single photograph of the original apparatus. Even the sketches that were made in the late 19th century are ...
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Where exactly did George Brown publish the first paper about Turnstile antennas?

In its most basic form the Turnstile antenna is two half-wave dipole antennas that are perpendicular and driven 90 degrees out of phase. For a recent review see Crossed Dipole Antennas: A review (also ...
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Heisenberg's last work on a non-linear generalization of quantum mechanics?

It is claimed here that toward the end of his life Werner Heisenberg worked on a non-linear broadening or generalization of quantum mechanics. What work was that? Was it published? Is it listed in ...
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English translation of Xu Yue's Shushu Jiyi?

Is there an english translation of Xu Yue's Shushu Jiyi? This is the work, around 190 CE, often described as containing the first description of the abacus. It is often associated with China's "...
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Are there commented English translations of Pappus's works on conics?

I'm investigating the conics in ancient Greece, I have the works of Apollonius, Diocles and Euclid, written with great commentary (both explaining the math and the historical context) that make them ...
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76 views

Origin of identity: $\int\limits_{-\infty}^{\infty} \exp\{ - \pi x^2 - 2 \pi^{1/2} a x\} \,da = \exp\left\{a^2\right\}$

A 1959 paper written by J. Hubbard called "Calculation of Partition Functions" and published in Physical Review Letters contains the following identity (Equation 2): $$\int\limits_{-\infty}^{...
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What paragraph was written by Emanouil Atanassov to solve problem 6 on the International Mathematical Olympiad in1988?

In the Wikipedia about Vieta jumping, it is stated that "Emanouil Atanassov, Bulgaria, solved the problem [assumed to be the most difficult one on the 1988 International Mathematics Olympiad] in ...
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425 views

Who made the first derivation of the angle to maximise projectile range, which turned out to be wrong?

I remember hearing once that the first "proof" that the angle to maximise projectile range gave the correct answer, 45 degrees, but was later found that the proof was wrong. I can't remember ...
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A Reference in Klein's Book

F. Klein mentions a certain Blumenthal in his famous book on the history of mathematics in 19th century with the following verse(when he was talking about the curvature in space): Die Menschen fassen ...
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91 views

In which article/book chapter did Cantor, Hibert, and Poincare formally defined or directly discussed the term “potential infinity”?

Some media sources say that "Cantor claimed that there would only be potential infinity, not actual infinity" In addition, the following link claims that Hilbert, Poincare, and Cantor were ...
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145 views

Why are complex numbers called 'complex'?

I'm a high school teacher, and I was just wondering why complex numbers are called 'complex'. I have read that Gauss coined the term. But I couldn't find any reference where it was explained. I also ...
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When and where was Legendre's Conjecture first published?

When and where did Legendre first publish or write about his conjecture that there is a prime between consecutive square numbers? $$n^2 < p < (n+1)^2$$ I have looked through edition 1 and 2 of ...
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Is there an English translation of Kronecker's proof of Infinitude of primes?

Is any English translation of the following paper available? H. Hasse, Vorlesungen ¨uber Zahlentheorie, Second edition, Springer-Verlag, New York, $1964$ (L. Kronecker, $269–273; 440–442; $ K. Hensel, ...
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Weil's reaction to Deligne's proof

How did André Weil react when Pierre Deligne finally solved the most important and hardest of the Weil conjectures ? Is there any written account on this ? I guess Serre's and Grothendieck's (...
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What is the original source of the problem of finding equivalent resistance between two nodes in an infinite grid of resistors?

A famous problem in electronics or physics course,is the following--- Consider an infinite 2d grid of resistors having resistance of equal value.Find the resistance between any two nodes in the grid. ...
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Did Peierles write about Peierls transition in any Journal?

I want a reference to Peierls transition and am looking for the original work by Peierls himself. But none of the citations in the Wikipedia page of Peierls transition is authored by Peierls. So, did ...
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Literature on Mayan mathematics

I asked this question on math.se and they sent me here. It is well known that Mayan people used vigesimal (base 20) numeral system, and had had an advanced calendar system. Except for these facts, I'...
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What was Kolmogorov’s point of view in the philosophy of mathematics?

Today the standard interpretation of intuitionistic logic is the Brouwer-Heyting-Kolmogorov interpretation which was presented independently by Arend Heyting and Andrei Nikolajewitsch Kolmogorow. ...
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Natura non facit saltus (nature does not make jumps), who said that?

The sentence is Latin for nature doesn't make jumps. It refers to the fact that, in most physical processes, quantities vary continuously. The principle was used by Leibniz, Kant and Darwin among ...
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Is there any historical evidence of this quote E.T. Bell attributed to C.G.J. Jacobi?

I read Men of Mathematics by E.T. Bell long ago, and this quote he attributed to Jacobi stuck with me: Certainly I have sometimes endangered my health from overwork, but what of it? Only cabbages ...
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What is the origin of the term (non-)derogatory matrix?

A non-derogatory matrix $A$ is one, whose minimal polynomial $m(z)$ equals its characteristic polynomial $p(z)$, where we apply the convention $p(z) = det(zI-A)$, while a matrix is derogatory, if they ...
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What are the sources for Democritus’ experiment of dividing a shell down to its atoms?

It is common to find accounts of Democritus explaining his thought experiment to demonstrate the existence of atoms by taking a piece of rock/shell/cheese, and breaking it in smaller and smaller bits ...
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How did Eratosthenes know the distance between Aswan and Alexandria?

In his well-known measurement of the Earth, and according to Cleomedes, Eratosthenes estimated in 5000 stades the distance between Aswan and Alexandria. Modern accounts state that he calculated the ...
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Books on elliptic functions

In the end of his address to the Mathematical Association in 1933 titled "The marquis and the land agent: a tale of the 18th century", G. N. Watson says: My final task is to express my gratitude to ...
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88 views

How did Weibull derive the three parameter Weibull distribution?

How did Weibull or any other mathematician arrive at the above expression? I saw the 1951 paper, but it is not clear to me. In 1939 he had published a book called "A Statistical Theory of the Strength ...
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Chronology of proofs of cubic and biquadratic reciprocity laws

I just want to check if anybody knows a website where one can find a chronology of proofs of more difficult reciprocity theorems (such as the cubic and biquadratic cases) similar to the (already ...
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Have orthogonal complex matrices appeared in the literature?

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthogonal_matrix, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitary_matrix, and Friedberg et al.'s Linear Algebra (4th edition), a matrix $A\in F^{n\times n}$ is ...
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127 views

Einstein praising Sophus Lie

p. 153 of Raúl M. Falcón Ganfornina and Juan Núñez Valdés, “Mathematical Foundations of Santilli Isotopies,” trans. Alan Aversa, Algebras, Groups, and Geometries 32 (2015): 135–308. quotes (but does ...
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132 views

What is the source of this quote by Einstein on wave–particle duality?

I'm writing a paper which involves a lot of quantum mechanics. As a result of this, I'm finding it necessary to cite the likes of Einstein, Born and Jordan. Particularly in the case of Einstein, due ...
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70 views

Glass ball drop experiment

Several years ago, I remember reading about an experiment, and I thought it was in Newton's Principia, so the experiment was conducted in that time frame. The experiment involved timing the fall of a ...
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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 was the work of Robert Muchielli's, a French psychologist, role in the Rwandan Genocide? [closed]

I read recently in an in-depth book-length study by an investigative journalist on the Rwandan Genocide that the work of the French psychologist, Robert Muchielli, was implicated in organised ...
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163 views

Who axiomatized classical mechanics in 1949?

According to Peter Machamer's "A Brief Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Science" (The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science, p. 7) ... classical mechanics was not axiomatized ...
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Who first proved Fubini's theorem $n$th order integrals?

Who first proved a generalized Fubini theorem for integrals of order $≥3$? An $n$th order integral is $$\underbrace{\underset{x_n}\int\underset{x_{n-1}}\int\ldots\underset{x_1}\int}_{n} f(x_1,x_2,\...
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Who first distinguished number theory and numerology? [duplicate]

Who first distinguished number theory and numerology?
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Where does the notion of “three crises of mathematics” come from? [duplicate]

Update: It can be traced back to Fraenkel-Bar-Hillel's Foundations of Set Theory, originally published in 1958. Further discussions can be seen at the linked question. The notion of "three crises ...
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pre-20th century sources on information theory?

What are some pre-19th or pre-20th century sources on information theory? Do they exist?
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Reference Request: Comment about Contradictions Proof Method Related to John G. Thompson

I read in a PDF document where the author made a comment that it is “dangerous” to use indirect proof method/contradiction proof method (as far as I can remember, and of course I am paraphrasing) as ...
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Did Descartes leave solving the quintic as an exercise to his readers?

In this document by Jim Brown it is claimed (on Section 3, pg 5) that: [Descartes] believed that all polynomials of degree $>4$ could be solved with the same methods as had been applied to the ...
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206 views

Where in Gauss's nachlass apears his sketch of a geometric proof for the biquadratic reciprocity law?

According to p.200-202 of the book "Reciprocity Laws: From Euler to Eisenstein" by Franz Lemmermeyer, there are two proofs for the biquadratic reciprocity law in Gauss's nachlass: one is a cyclotomic ...
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485 views

When/Why did Septagon change to Heptagon?

I graduated high school in 1980, and as a second career, am helping HS students with their math. I just finished my 6th year of this, and have just one question about the change noted in the title. ...
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First occurrence of the Bloch sphere in the scientific literature

The Bloch sphere is a geometric representation of a single qubit. I am having trouble figuring out when it came into common usage in the scientific literature. The wikipedia article, as at the time of ...
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151 views

Source for Felix Klein quote about curves

Hubbard and Hubbard (in "Vector Calculus...") attribute the following quote to Felix Klein: "Everyone knows what a curve is, until he has studied enough mathematics to become confused through the ...
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264 views

Source of claim that Leibniz discovered separation of variables for ODEs in 1691?

Claims I'm evaluating I've read in multiple sources that Leibniz formulated separation of variables for ODEs in 1691. A couple example sources are below. Mathematical Thought from Ancient to Modern ...
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822 views

Who came up with the convolution theorem?

I am looking for the earliest reference which proposed the convolution theorem which is often utilized in signal processing (i.e., convolution becomes multiplication in the Fourier domain). The ...
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227 views

When and how did the notion/idea of physical constant emerge?

Physical constants (e.g. c, h, G, alpha and so on) play a central role in our scientific theories and they have yet drawn much of controversial flavor into questions concerning the foundational status ...
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Where in Gauss's nachlass did he pose the problem of connectedness of a surface?

On p.98 of the book "Mathematics of the 19th Century: Geometry, Analytic Function Theory", the authors mention a note written by Gauss in 1840: In 1840 Gauss wrote a note in which he introduced the ...
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109 views

Euler's Derivation of Euler's Method for ODEs

I am looking for an English translation of Euler's derivation of Euler's method for ODEs, namely the update $$ y_{n+1} = y_n + h f(y_n, t_n) $$ What motivated Euler to consider this problem, and how ...
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69 views

Where to find some early discussions of the Equinox(es)?

Said quickly, solstices are rather perceptible while the equinox is a mental construction. Archeoastronomical evidence shows that neolithic people already had knowledge about the solsticial points on ...
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283 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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