Thursday, 25 September 2014

On This Day in Math - September 25




I am undecided whether or not the Milky Way​ is but one of countless others all of which form an entire system. Perhaps the light from these infinitely distant galaxies is so faint that we cannot see them.


~ Johann H Lambert

This is the 268th day of the year, 268 is the smallest number whose product of digits is 6 times the sum of its digits. (A good classroom exploration might be to find numbers in which the product of the digits is n x the sum of the digits for various values of n.. more generally, for what percentage of numbers is the sum a factor of the product at all?)

268 is the sum of two consecutive primes, 268 = 131 + 137

EVENTS

1493 Columbus set sail on his second voyage to America.


1513 Balboa discovered the Pacific.

1608 The oldest written mention of the telescope: In a letter of introduction from the Council of Zeeland to Zeeland’s Delegates to the States General (the Netherlands parliament) in Den Haag asking them to organise an audience with Prince Maurice of Nassau for a spectacle maker from Middelburg who had invented a “…certain device by means of which all things at a very great distance can be seen as if they were nearby, by looking through glasses…”; the oldest written mention of the telescope. On an unknown day between 25th and 29th September: Hans Lipperhey (1570 – 1619) the spectacle maker from Middelburg (who was actually a German from Wesel) demonstrates his new invention at the court of Prince Maurice, where a peace conference in the Dutch-Spanish War is taking place along with the first visit to Europe of the Ambassador of Siam. Lipperhey’s demonstration is described in detail in a French flyer describing the Ambassadors visit and the news of the new invention is thus spread rapidly throughout Europe. *Renaissance Mathematicus,

1654 Fermat writes to Pascal defending his combinatorial method that Pascal had previously regarded as incorrect.*VFR

1820 Arago announces electromagnetism ... Francois Arago announced that a copper wire between the poles of a voltaic cell, could laterally attract iron filings to itself (Ann. de Chim. et de Physique., xv. p.93). His discovery came in the same year that Oersted discovered that an electric current flowing in a wire would deflect a neighbouring compass needle. Arago in the same publication described how he had successfully succeeded in causing permanent magnetism in steel needles laid at right angles to the copper wire. Arago and André-Marie Ampère, discussed and experimented with forming the copper wire into a helix to intensify the magnetizing action. However, it was not until 1825 that the electromagnet in its familiar form was invented by William Sturgeon. *TIS

1944 Denmark issued a stamp commemorating the 300th anniversary of the birth of Ole Roemer,*VFR

1989 IBM announces plans to develop a new design for transmitting information within a computer, called Micro Channel Architecture, which it said could transfer data at 160 million bytes per second or eight times faster than the fastest speed at the time. Although IBM was hoping to make its system the industry standard, manufacturers of IBM-compatible computers largely chose other methods. *CHM


BIRTHS

1644 Olaus Roemer, Danish astronomer, born. He was the first to measure the speed of light. *VFR (25 Sep 1644;23 Sep 1710) Astronomer who demonstrated conclusively that light travels at a finite speed. He measured the speed by precisely measuring the length of time between eclipses of Jupiter by one of its moons. This observation produces different results depending on the position of the earth in its orbit around the sun. He reasoned that meant light took longer to travel the greater distance when earth was traveling in its orbit away from Jupiter.*TIS "Ole Rømer took part in several other achievements considering measurement. He developed a temperature scale that is now famous as the Fahrenheit scale. Fahrenheit improved and distributed his ideas after visiting Rømer. In his last years, he was even given the position as second Chief of the Copenhagen Police and invented the first street oil lamps in the city of Copenhagen.
Further achievements and inventions may be added to Rømer's biography, like his innovative water supply system and his urban planning concept. " *Yovista.blogspot

1819 George Salmon (25 September 1819 – 22 January 1904) made many discoveries about ruled surfaces and other surfaces. *SAU His publications in algebraic geometry were widely read in the second half of the 19th century. A Treatise on Conic Sections remained in print for over fifty years, going though five updated editions in English, and was translated into German, French and Italian. *Wik

1825 Carl Harald Cramer,(25 September 1893 ,5 October 1985) was a Swedish mathematical statisticians and is one of the prominent figures in the statistical theory. He was once described by John Kingman as "one of the giants of statistical theory". 
In number theory, Cramér's conjecture,in 1936 states that
p_{n+1}-p_n=O((\log p_n)^2),\
where pn denotes the nth prime number, O is big O notation, and "log" is the natural logarithm. Intuitively, this means the gaps between consecutive primes are always small, and it quantifies asymptotically just how small they can be. This conjecture has not been proven or disproven.
*Wik

1846 Wladimir (Peter) Köppen (25 Sep 1846; 22 Jun 1940) German meteorologist and climatologist best known for his delineation and mapping of the climatic regions of the world. He played a major role in the advancement of climatology and meteorology for more than 70 years. The climate classification system he developed remains popular because it uses easily obtained data (monthly mean temperatures and precipitation) and straightforward, objective criteria. He recognized five principal climate groups: (A) Humid tropical -winterless climates; (B) Dry - evaporation constantly exceed precipitation; (C) humid mid-latitude, mild winters; (D) humid mid-latitude, severe winters; and (E) Polar - summerless climates. *TIS

1888 Stefan Mazurkiewicz (25 Sept 1888 , 19 June 1945) His main work was in topology and the theory of probability. His notion of dimension of a compact set preceded that of Menger and Urysohn by seven years. Mazurkiewicz applied topological methods to the theory of functions, obtaining powerful results. His theory gave particularly strong results when applied to the Euclidean plane, giving deep knowledge of its topological structure. *SAU



DEATHS

1777 Johann Heinrich Lambert (26 Aug 1728, 25 Sep 1777) Swiss-German mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and philosopher who provided the first rigorous proof that pi ( the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter) is irrational, meaning it cannot be expressed as the quotient of two integers. He also devised a method of measuring light intensity. *TIS In 1766 Lambert wrote Theorie der Parallellinien which was a study of the parallel postulate. By assuming that the parallel postulate was false, he managed to deduce a large number of non-euclidean results. He noticed that in this new geometry the sum of the angles of a triangle increases as its area decreases. *SAU

1852 Christoph Gudermann (March 25, 1798, September 25, 1852) was born in Vienenburg. He was the son of a school teacher and became a teacher himself after studying at the University of Göttingen, where his advisor was Karl Friedrich Gauss. He began his teaching career in Kleve and then transferred to a school in Münster.
He is most known today for being the teacher of Karl Weierstrass, who took Gudermann's course in elliptic functions, 1839–1840, the first to be taught in any institute. Weierstrass was greatly influenced by this course, which marked the direction of his own research.
Gudermann originated the concept of uniform convergence, in an 1838 paper on elliptic functions, but only observed it informally, neither formalizing it nor using it in his proofs. Instead, Weierstrass elaborated and applied uniform convergence.
His researches into spherical geometry and special functions focused on particular cases, so that he did not receive the credit given to those who published more general works. The Gudermannian function, or hyperbolic amplitude, is named after him.Gudermann died in Münster. *Wik

1877 Urbain-Jean-Joseph Le Verrier (11 May 1811, 25 Sep 1877) French astronomer who predicted the position of a previously unknown planet, Neptune, by the disturbance it caused in the orbit of Uranus. In 1856, the German astronomer Johan G. Galle discovered Neptune after only an hour of searching, within one degree of the position that had been computed by Le Verrier, who had asked him to look for it there. In this way Le Verrier gave the most striking confirmation of the theory of gravitation propounded by Newton. Le Verrier also initiated the meteorological service for France, especially the weather warnings for seaports. *TIS (He died the day after the anniversary of the sighting of his most famous prediction. Between that moment of fame in 1846 and his death, he mistakenly attributed the variability of Mercury's orbit to another small planet he named "Vulcan". It took the theory of General Relativity to explain the variations. He was buried in Montparnasse cemetery in Paris. A large globe sits atop grave. Arago described him as, "the man who discovered a planet with the point of his pen."

1933 Paul Ehrenfest (January 18, 1880, September 25, 1933) was an Austrian and Dutch physicist and mathematician, who made major contributions to the field of statistical mechanics and its relations with quantum mechanics, including the theory of phase transition and the Ehrenfest theorem. *Wik


Credits :
*CHM=Computer History Museum
*FFF=Kane, Famous First Facts
*NSEC= NASA Solar Eclipse Calendar
*RMAT= The Renaissance Mathematicus, Thony Christie
*SAU=St Andrews Univ. Math History
*TIA = Today in Astronomy
*TIS= Today in Science History
*VFR = V Frederick Rickey, USMA
*Wik = Wikipedia
*WM = Women of Mathematics, Grinstein & Campbell
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