Questions tagged [reference-request]

For questions that are requesting specific literature references

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12
votes
4answers
1k views

What major areas of mathematics have been abandoned?

It seems that the focus of mathematical research moves on every so often, and some areas are not proven wrong, but have just become uninteresting in the current mathematical culture. I was under the ...
9
votes
1answer
575 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
1answer
2k views

What is the origin of the term "ordinary differential equations"?

Who has first used the term "ordinary differential equation"? Is it known, why the term "ordinary" is used here? What makes an ODE "ordinary"?
0
votes
1answer
108 views

on the classification of singular points

After reading this question and the answers to it, I am interested o know who were the first mathematicians who started classifying singular points of curves: i.e. different kind of nodes, of cusps ...
6
votes
1answer
291 views

Grothendieck and elementary topos

I would like to know some references (if any) for the claim that Grothendieck didn't like the idea of elementary topos.
6
votes
1answer
112 views

What are the earliest known accounts of the demarcation problem (science versus pseudo science)?

The demarcation problem, i.e. the problem of differentiating science from pseudo science has been on my mind recently. This might be considered a philosophy topic for philoSE but since my question has ...
8
votes
1answer
268 views

What are some of the most complete genealogies of scientific and mathematical subject areas?

I am interested in the way scientific and mathematical subject areas developed (and are still developing). One of the great visual tools that can help us gain insight in how these areas developed is ...
11
votes
3answers
423 views

Historically accurate alternatives to "Men of Mathematics"?

I have heard that the book "Men of Mathematics" by E. Bell is a very entertaining text composed of several biographies of a number of influential mathematicians, and is in fact one of the most popular ...
1
vote
1answer
185 views

Origin of the Riemann-Lebesgue lemma

When and where did Riemann and Lebesgue give the well known Riemann-Lebesgue lemma? A "lemma" is usually used as a stepping stone to a larger result rather than as a statement of interest by itself. ...
0
votes
1answer
159 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
59 views

What came first: pythagoras number or pythagorean fields?

Which concept was first introduced: the pythagoras number of a field or pythagorean fields? I have not found anything on this matter, but my gut feeling says the latter. One can more directly link the ...
7
votes
2answers
168 views

What manuscript is depicted in the HSM advertisement?

The following advertisement recently appeared in the sidebar on math.se: Is the Greek script on the left actually from a mathematical manuscript? What is its source?
3
votes
1answer
299 views

Where was the Banach-Mazur Theorem originally published?

I would like to cite the original source for the Banach-Mazur Theorem that the space $\mathcal{C}([0,1])$ of continuous functions on the unit interval is universal for separable Banach spaces, i.e., ...
2
votes
3answers
357 views

Is there a Martin Gardner's article archive available online?

Martin Gardener was a great recreational mathematics expert and his column "Mathematical Games" is an all time hit. But is there any archive available online consisting of his articles (...
-1
votes
2answers
153 views

Any modern translations of famous math papers?

I was curious to know if there are any resources similar to Early Modern Texts? What the author of the site has done is taken older and also famous philosophy papers and translated them with more ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Translations of Luca Pacioli's Summa de arithmetica

Are there any English language (or perhaps German, Dutch or French, but preferably English) translations of Luca Pacioli's 1494 (or later edition) "Summa de arithmetica"? They do not have to ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

Who was the first to say "Shut up and calculate!"?

The best thing I could find on the internet was this apparently forgotten aricle from 12 years ago.
11
votes
2answers
957 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
5k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Two articles of Poincaré

In Jammer's book Concepts of Simultaneity on page 108, there is a reference to two of Poincaré's papers: "...his 1904 lecture on St. Louis..." "...his contribution to the Lorentz Festschrift." ...
4
votes
1answer
294 views

Classic mathematics books by British mathematicians

Having recently read a review that expounded on the rigour and depth of books by 'earlier' British mathematicians (mainly analysts) I would like to know more. My own research yielded the following ...
2
votes
2answers
307 views

What are the earliest mentions of Prime Numbers?

Egyptians and Babylonians must have had some ideas about primes but what are the earliest mentions or comments? Where is the first list of primes? After Burkert's work on Pythagoreanism an answer ...
7
votes
1answer
722 views

Why does Aristotle write 'astrology' when Plato writes 'astronomy'?

Checking modern quotes from Aristotle almost everywhere the word astronomy is found to be replacing the original Greek or Latin astrology' (astrologia). In Plato'...
3
votes
0answers
250 views

Where did the divide and conquer method for radix conversion come from?

While doing the tedious work of documenting my software I tried to find the original source of the divide and conquer method for the conversion of numbers of one base to a number in another base (...
5
votes
2answers
668 views

When was the diving bell invented?

This question comes from my attempts to give a good answer to the previous question, How was difference in water pressure perceived in ancient cultures or the middle ages? I know from my childhood ...
3
votes
2answers
99 views

Biographical articles on Newton and Galileo by physicist or historian

I am going to give a lecture to school children on the lives of Newton, Galileo and Einstein. I have enough literature on Einstein but not enough on the lives of Galileo and Newton. So I am looking ...
1
vote
0answers
80 views

Is there any online resource on Yitang Zhang's biography?

Where I should look for a biographical note on Yitang Zhang's life. I read the wikipedia article but it does not provide any in depth perception on his life. There is nothing on here. If anybody knows ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Trying to learn some history of mathematics with parabolic Anderson model (PAM) as theme

I have been recently trying to find context and motivation for my Ph.D. Thesis in probability theory. I have not much background on the history of my theme. I just studied it aiming at solving a ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Euler's formula for product of cosines

According to "Squaring the Circle" by Ernest Hobson, this formula $$\theta =\frac{\sin\theta}{\cos\frac\theta2\cdot \cos\frac\theta4\cdot \cos\frac\theta8\dots}$$ for $\theta<\pi$ is due to Euler. ...
1
vote
1answer
243 views

Where did d'Alembert published the ratio test?

The Wikipedia article ratio test states that it was first published by Jean le Rond d'Alembert. In which of his works did he state the ratio test?
7
votes
2answers
382 views

Where can I find the translated manuscript of Abel?

I am looking for the translated manuscript of Abel where he proved the unsolvability of the quintic. Can anyone give me a pointer? I tried Google, but nothing came up.
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Original paper for Young's double slit experiments [duplicate]

I'm trying to find the original papers describing Young's double slit experiments including his experimental set-ups and findings. I've tried looking and all I can find is http://www....
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Where to look for information on technological advances in lithium-ion batteries?

For my philosophy of science class, I'm looking for references that will provide a historical / science philosophical insight on the development and advances of lithium-ion batteries. For now, I ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

How was curvature originally defined and calculated?

I am interested in the early history of curvature. Who defined it first and when, who came up with the name, how was it calculated before mathematicians used calculus to define $k=|α''(s)|$? Are there ...
4
votes
1answer
586 views

How did Saint Vincent prove the logarithmic property of areas under hyperbolas?

How did Saint Vincent prove that if $\frac{a}{b} = \frac{c}{d}$, then the area of a hyperbola $y = \frac{1}{x}$ from $a$ to $b$ equals the area from $c$ to $d$? What references (pdfs, links, books) ...
5
votes
1answer
763 views

History of the d'Ocagne's identity for Fibonacci numbers

The d'Ocagne's identity is normally stated as $(-1)^n F_{m-n} = F_m F_{n+1}-F_n F_{m+1}$. Every book about the Fibonacci numbers has this formula in it, but I can't find any context about it. When ...
3
votes
1answer
119 views

Origin of the term "operator spectrum" and its relation to spectrum in physics

I believe i have been looking in the Internet once for the origin of the term "spectrum" in functional analysis and saw that the term was proposed by someone (by Hilbert?) with no relation to physics, ...
2
votes
1answer
827 views

Origin of Cauchy convergence test

Obviously Cauchy's convergence test is named after Augustin-Louis Cauchy. Is he the person who first proved this criterion or is it another misnamed theorem? If so: In which treatise?
2
votes
1answer
580 views

Where is the root test first proved

Concerning the Wikipedia article "root test", this convergence criterion for series was first proved by Augustin-Louis Cauchy. What is the name of the treatise where he proved the root test? Which ...
5
votes
1answer
259 views

Where can I learn more about lesser known mathematicians?

I'm reaching the point in my mathematical career that the names aren't so well known. Everybody knows that Euler was great and Gauss was even better, and it's not hard to learn that if Riemann died ...
3
votes
1answer
352 views

Classical source for theorem on three parallel lines cut by two transversals

I am trying to find a classical source for the following theorem about parallel lines and transversals: If three parallel lines are cut by two transversals, then the segments between the ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Primary reference for a formula related to the Faa di Bruno formula

In discussing Lie derivatives in his book Advanced Combinatorics (Reidel, 1974, pg. 220), Comtet refers to a formula of Pourchet related to the celebrated Faa di Bruno formula. Other references to ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

The history and motivation of eigenvectors

I want to understand more about the history of eigenvectors. Was the discovery of eigenvectors inspired from an application to achieve a result in a historical context, was there a phenomenon which ...
9
votes
1answer
863 views

Did Gauss say "there have been but three epoch-making mathematicians, Archimedes, Newton and Eisenstein"?

In Wikipedia I found this claim by E.T. Bell in his Men of Mathematics. However in the next paragraph it says that "it is doubtful that Gauss put Eisenstein in the same league as Newton", which makes ...
4
votes
1answer
152 views

Looking for a Book Which Discusses the Rigor in Newton's Principia Mathematica

About an year ago, I had seen an article somewhere on the internet which discussed Newton's Principia Mathematica and the rigor (or lack thereof) of the arguments presented. I have forgotten who the ...
3
votes
0answers
96 views

Are Brillouin's papers translated into English?

I mean the Brillouin in the WKB method. I want to read his original paper. But it is in French. Is it translated into English? It should be.
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How did Young perform his double slit experiment?

Thomas Young is famous for his double slit experiment, but I can't seem to find his experimental setup (such as how is prepared the light before it went through the apparatus. Does anyone know his ...
5
votes
0answers
194 views

Reflections in the 18th century

It is well known that the theory of reflections was considerably developed during the 19th century with the development of group theory (e.g. Klein) and the theory of transformations. However, I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

First usage of binomial distribution

As stated in the article binomial distribution by britannica.com the binomial distribution was used by Jakob Bernoulli when he said that "the probability of $k$ ... outcomes in $n$ repetitions is ...
6
votes
1answer
144 views

English translation of Omar Khayyám's mathematical work

Is there any current English translation of the mathematical works of Omar Khayyám?