Joseph-Louis Lagrange (1736-1813), one of the notable French mathematicians of the Revolutionary period, is remembered for his work in the fields of analysis, number theory and mechanics. Like Laplace and Legendre, Lagrange was assisted by d'Alember…
The genius of Carl Friedrich Gauss (1777-1855) and the novelty of his work (published in Latin, German, and occasionally French) in areas as diverse as number theory, probability and astronomy were already widely acknowledged during his lifetime. Bu…
One of the greatest mathematicians of the nineteenth century, Carl Gustav Jacob Jacobi (1804-51) burst into the limelight with his redevelopment, together with Niels Henrik Abel (1802-29), of the theory of elliptic functions. His pioneering work was…
As Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge University, Lord Rayleigh focussed his considerable energies on the study of electricity - building on the work of his illustrious predecessor, James Clerk Maxwell. This second volume of hi…
This final volume of papers by Lord Rayleigh covers the period from 1911 to his death in 1919. The first of the Solvay Conferences in 1911 played a key role in the foundation of quantum theory. Although invited, Rayleigh did not attend. His principa…
Lord Rayleigh served as President of Royal Society from 1905 to 1908, when he became Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. In 1904 he was awarded a Nobel Prize. He received the physics award while Ramsey, with whom he had conducted the research…
Augustin-Louis, Baron Cauchy (1789-1857) was the pre-eminent French mathematician of the nineteenth century. He began his career as a military engineer during the Napoleonic Wars, but even then was publishing significant mathematical papers, and was…
Sir Horace Lamb (1849-1934) the British mathematician, wrote a number of influential works in classical physics. A pupil of Stokes and Clerk Maxwell, he taught for ten years as the first professor of mathematics at the University of Adelaide before…
A. S. Ramsey (1867-1954) was a distinguished Cambridge mathematician and President of Magdalene College. He wrote several textbooks 'for the use of higher divisions in schools and for first-year students at university'. This book on electricity and…
The French mathematician and engineer Gerard Desargues (1591-1661) was one of the founders of projective geometry. Desargues' theorem is named in the honour of this prolific writer of treatises on geometry and its application to the arts and archite…
A distinguished mathematician and notable university teacher, Isaac Todhunter (1820-84) became known for the successful textbooks he produced as well as for a work ethic that was extraordinary, even by Victorian standards. A scholar who read all the…
One of the great algebraists of the nineteenth century, Marie Ennemond Camille Jordan (1838-1922) became known for his work on matrices, Galois theory and group theory. However, his most profound effect on how we see mathematics came through his Cou…
The Swiss mathematician Jakob Steiner (1796-1863) came from a poor background with an incomplete education, yet such was his mathematical talent that eventually the Prussian university system adapted itself to him rather than he to it. A geometer in…
In 1770, one of the founders of pure mathematics, Leonard Euler (1707-1783), published an algebra textbook for students. It was soon translated into French, with notes and additions by Joseph-Louis Lagrange, another giant of eighteenth-century mathe…
Following the French Revolution, the physicist and mathematician Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768-1830) taught at the Ecole Normale Superieure and later succeeded Lagrange at the Ecole Polytechnique. He was promoted to administrative positions und…
An important mathematician and astronomer in medieval India, Bhascara Acharya (1114-85) wrote treatises on arithmetic, algebra, geometry and astronomy. He is also believed to have been head of the astronomical observatory at Ujjain, which was the le…
Successful long-distance navigation depends on knowing latitude and longitude, and the determination of longitude depends on knowing the exact time at some fixed point on the earth's surface. Since Newton it had been hoped that a method based on acc…
When George Shoobridge Carr (1837-1914) wrote his Synopsis of Elementary Results he intended it as an aid to students preparing for degree-level examinations such as the Cambridge Mathematical Tripos, for which he provided private tuition. He would…
Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet (1805-59) may be considered the father of modern number theory. He studied in Paris, coming under the influence of mathematicians like Fourier and Legendre, and then taught at Berlin and Goettingen universities, where…
The famous and prolific nineteenth-century mathematician, engineer and inventor Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was an early pioneer of computing. He planned several calculating machines, but none was built in his lifetime. On his death his youngest son…
A miller's son, George Green (1793-1841) received little formal schooling yet managed to acquire significant knowledge of modern mathematics, especially French work. In 1828 he published his Essay on the Application of Mathematical Analysis to the T…
In 1770, one of the founders of pure mathematics, the Swiss-born mathematician Leonard Euler (1707-1783), published an algebra textbook for students. It was soon translated into French, with notes and additions by Joseph-Louis Lagrange, another gian…
A. S. Ramsey (1867-1954) was a distinguished Cambridge mathematician and President of Magdalene College. He wrote several textbooks 'for the use of higher divisions in schools and for first year students at university'. This book on statics, publish…
Lord Rayleigh was justifiably renowned for the breadth, clarity and quality of his work, which has had a continuing impact on many fields of modern science. These six chronologically-arranged volumes collect the scientific papers written during his…
Niels Henrik Abel (1802-29) was one of the most prominent mathematicians in the first half of the nineteenth century. His pioneering work in diverse areas such as algebra, analysis, geometry and mechanics has made the adjective 'abelian' a commonpla…
In 1821, the French mathematician Augustin-Louis Cauchy published Cours d'Analyse de L'Ecole Royale Polytechnique, a textbook designed to teach his students the basic theorems of calculus in as rigorous a way as possible. Cauchy was a pioneer of mat…
In 1770, one of the founders of pure mathematics, Swiss mathematician Leonard Euler (1707-1783), published Elements of Algebra, a mathematics textbook for students. This edition of Euler's classic, published in 1822, is an English translation which…
The German mathematician Karl Weierstrass (1815-97) is generally considered to be the father of modern analysis. His clear eye for what was important is demonstrated by the publication, late in life, of his polynomial approximation theorem; suitably…
The two great works of the celebrated French mathematician Henri Lebesgue (1875-1941), Lecons sur l'integration et la recherche des fonctions primitives professees au College de France (1904) and Lecons sur les series trigonometriques professees au…
Arthur Cayley (1821-1895) was a key figure in the creation of modern algebra. He studied mathematics at Cambridge and published three papers while still an undergraduate. He then qualified as a lawyer and published about 250 mathematical papers duri…
Arthur Cayley (1821-1895) was a key figure in the creation of modern algebra. He studied mathematics at Cambridge, qualified as a lawyer, and published about 250 mathematical papers during his fourteen years at the Bar. In 1863 he took a significant…
Arthur Cayley (1821-1895) was a key figure in the creation of modern algebra. He studied mathematics at Cambridge, qualified as a lawyer, and published about 250 mathematical papers during his fourteen years at the Bar. In 1863 he became the first S…
In his autobiography, Charles Darwin wrote of his time at Cambridge: 'I attempted mathematics ... but I got on very slowly. The work was repugnant to me, chiefly from my not being able to see any meaning in the early steps in algebra. This impatienc…
As senior wrangler in 1854, Edward John Routh (1831-1907) was the man who beat James Clerk Maxwell in the Cambridge mathematics tripos. He went on to become a highly successful coach in mathematics at Cambridge, producing a total of twenty-seven sen…
An important figure in the development of modern mathematical logic and abstract algebra, Augustus De Morgan (1806-71) was also a witty writer who made a hobby of collecting evidence of paradoxical and illogical thinking from historical sources as w…
Charles Hermite (1822-1901) was a French mathematician who made significant contributions to pure mathematics, and especially to number theory and algebra. In 1858 he solved the equation of the fifth degree by elliptic functions, and in 1873 he prov…
Mathematics has a reputation of being dull and difficult. Here is an antidote. This lively exploration of arithmetic considers its basic processes and manipulations, demonstrating their value and power and justifying an enduring interest in the subj…
In 1844, the Prussian schoolmaster Hermann Grassmann (1809-77) published Die Lineale Ausdehnungslehre (also reissued in the Cambridge Library Collection). This revolutionary work anticipated the modern theory of vector spaces and exterior algebras.…
From the end of antiquity to the middle of the nineteenth century it was generally believed that Aristotle had said all that there was to say concerning the rules of logic and inference. One of the ablest British mathematicians of his age, Augustus…
By the end of the eighteenth century, British mathematics had been stuck in a rut for a hundred years. Calculus was still taught in the style of Newton, with no recognition of the great advances made in continental Europe. The examination system at…
The mathematician Charles Babbage (1791-1871) was one of the most original thinkers of the nineteenth century. In this influential 1830 publication, he criticises the continued failure of government to support science and scientists. In addition, he…
A. S. Ramsey (1867-1954) was a distinguished Cambridge mathematician and President of Magdalene College. He wrote several textbooks 'for the use of higher divisions in schools and for first year students at university'. This book on dynamics, publis…
Throughout his early life, Isaac Todhunter (1820-84) excelled as a student of mathematics, gaining a scholarship at the University of London and numerous awards during his time at St John's College, Cambridge. Taking up fellowship of the college in…
The British physicist Sir Joseph John Thomson, the discoverer of the electron, published the first edition of his Elements of the Mathematical Theory of Electricity and Magnetism in 1895; this fourth edition was issued in 1909, three years after he…
French mathematician Joseph Fourier's Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur was originally published in 1822. In this groundbreaking study, arguing that previous theories of mechanics advanced by such outstanding scientists as Archimedes, Galileo, Newton…
George Birtwistle (1877-1929) published The New Quantum Mechanics in 1928. His stated aim was to give a detailed account of work which had brought the relatively new subject of quantum mechanics to the fore in the previous few years. The earlier cha…
First published in 1878, The Analytical Theory of Heat is Alexander Freeman's English translation of French mathematician Joseph Fourier's Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur, originally published in French in 1822. In this groundbreaking study, arguin…