Monday, 18 July 2011

On This Day in Math - July 18

Math is the only place where truth and beauty mean the same thing.

-Danica McKellar
(I can't believe I'm doing math quotes from Winnie from Wonder Years)

Today is the 199th day of the year;
199 is the sum of three consecutive primes: 61 + 67 + 71
199 is the sum of five consecutive primes: 31 + 37 + 41 + 43 + 47
is it possible for a prime number to be the sum of n consecutive primes?

1872 Weierstrass, in a lecture to the Berlin Academy, gave his classical example of a continuous nowhere differential function. See Big Kline, p. 956.1872 Weierstrass, in a lecture to the Berlin Academy, gave his classical example of a continuous nowhere differential function. See Big Kline, p. 956.1872 Weierstrass, in a lecture to the Berlin Academy, gave his classical example of a continuous nowhere differential function. See Big Kline, p. 956. *VFR

1979 Great Britain issued a stamp honoring Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. *VFR

1013 Hermann of Reichenau was a German mathematician who important for the transmission of Arabic mathematics, astronomy and scientific instruments into central Europe.*SAU

1635 Robert Hooke born.English natural philosopher, architect and polymath. His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money; achieving great wealth and standing through his reputation for hard work and scrupulous honesty following the great fire of 1666, but eventually becoming ill and party to jealous intellectual disputes. These issues may have contributed to his relative historical obscurity.
He was at one time simultaneously the curator of experiments of the Royal Society and a member of its council, Gresham Professor of Geometry and a Surveyor to the City of London after the Great Fire of London , in which capacity he appears to have performed more than half of all the surveys after the fire. He was also an important architect of his time, though few of his buildings now survive and some of those are generally misattributed, and was instrumental in devising a set of planning controls for London whose influence remains today. Allan Chapman has characterised him as "England's Leonardo" *wik
He was born in Freshwater, Isle of Wight, and discovered the law of elasticity, known as Hooke's law, and invented the balance spring for clocks. He was a virtuoso scientist whose scope of research ranged widely, including physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, geology, architecture and naval technology. On 5 Nov 1662, Hooke was appointed the Curator of Experiments at the Royal Society, London. After the Great Fire of London (1666), he served as Chief Surveyor and helped rebuild the city. He also invented or improved meteorological instruments such as the barometer, anemometer, and hygrometer. Hooke authored the influential Micrographia (1665)*TIS

1689 Samuel Molyneux British astronomer (Royal Observatory at Kew) and politician. Together with assistant James Bradley, he made measurements of abberation - the diversion of light from stars. They made observations of the star  Draconis with a vertical telescope. Starting in 1725 they had the proof of the movement of the earth giving support to the Copernican model of the earth revolving around the sun. The star oscillated with an excursion of 39 arcsecs between its lowest declination in May and its the highest point of its oscillation in September. He was unfortunate to fall ill in 1728 and into the care of the Anatomist to the Royal Family, Dr Nathaniel St Andre, whose qualifications were as a dancing master. Molyneux died shortly thereafter.*TIS

1768 Jean Robert Argand born. His single original contribution to mathematics was the invention and elaboration of a geometric representation of complex numbers and operations on them. In this he was preceded by Wessel and followed by Gauss.*VFR Swiss mathematician who was one of the earliest to use complex numbers, which he applied to show that all algebraic equations have roots. He invented the Argand diagram - a geometrical representation of complex numbers as a point with the real portion of the number on the x axis and the imaginary part on the y axis.*Wik

1813 Pierre Laurent was a French mathematician best-known for his study of the so-called Laurent Series in Complex analysis. *SAU

1853 Antoon Lorentz (18 July 1853 – 4 February 1928) was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Pieter Zeeman for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. He also derived the transformation equations subsequently used by Albert Einstein to describe space and time. *Wik
Lorentz is best known for his work on electromagnetic radiation and the FitzGerald-Lorentz contraction. He developed the mathematical theory of the electron.*SAU

1856 Giacinto Morera (born Novara, 18 July 1856 – died Turin, 8 February 1909), was an Italian engineer and mathematician. He is remembered for Morera's theorem in the theory of functions of a complex variables and for his work in the theory of linear elasticity. *Wik

1899 Robert Schlapp studied at Edinburgh and Cambridge universities. He spent his whole career at Edinburgh University teaching mathematics and Physics. He was also interested in the History of Mathematics. He became President of the EMS in 1942 and 1943. *SAU

1922 Thomas S(amuel) Kuhn was an American historian of science, MIT professor, noted for The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), one of the most influential works of history and philosophy written in the 20th century. His thesis was that science was not a steady, cumulative acquisition of knowledge, but it is "a series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions." Then appears a Lavoisier or an Einstein, often a young scientist not indoctrinated in the accepted theories, to sweep the old paradigm away. Such revolutions, he said, came only after long periods of tradition-bound normal science. "Frameworks must be lived with and explored before they can be broken," *TIS

1742 Abraham Sharp was an English mathematician who worked with Flamsteed. He calculated π to 72 places (using an arcsine sequence, briefly holding the record until John Machin calculated 100 digits in 1706).*SAU

1930 Karl Emmanuel Robert Fricke (* September 24, 1861 in Helmstedt, Germany ; † July 18, 1930 in Bad Harzburg, Germany) was a German mathematician, known for his work in function theory, especially on elliptic, modular and automorphic functions. He was one of the main collaborators of Felix Klein, with whom he produced two classic two volume monographs on elliptic modular functions and automorphic functions.*Wik

*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*TIS= Today in Science History
*Wik = Wikipedia
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
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