New PDF release: Augustin-Louis Cauchy: A Biography

By Bruno Belhoste

ISBN-10: 1461229960

ISBN-13: 9781461229964

ISBN-10: 1461277523

ISBN-13: 9781461277521

A nice trouble dealing with a biographer of Cauchy is that of delineating the curious interaction among the guy, his occasions, and his medical endeavors. Professor Belhoste has succeeded admirably in assembly this problem and has therefore written a vibrant biography that's either readable and informative. His topic stands proud as the most outstanding, flexible, and prolific fig ures within the annals of technology. approximately 200 years have now handed because the younger Cauchy set approximately his job of clarifying arithmetic, extending it, using it anyplace attainable, and putting it on an organization theoretical footing. via Belhoste's paintings we're afforded an in depth, particularly custom-made photo of the way a primary price mathematician labored at his self-discipline - his strivings, his inspirations, his triumphs, his mess ups, and mainly, his conflicts and his errors.

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Extra info for Augustin-Louis Cauchy: A Biography

Sample text

Henceforward, the die was cast: his whole life, to use one of his favorite expressions, would be devoted to 'the search for truth'. Chapter 3 The Waiting Room of the Academy At home in Paris, back with his family, Augustin-Louis recovered his health. What he seemed to have needed most was the affection, closeness, and understanding that were typical of the Cauchy family. During this period, he worked contentedly on his new papers. First, he perfected his two-part memoir on symmetric functions, which he presented to the First Class of the Institut on November 30,1812; the memoir was published in two articles in the beginning of 1815 (1).

All available information on Cauchy's personality tends to support this hypothesis. His cold, aloof, and inflexible personality was poor cover for his deep sensitivity. At once easily hurt and hotheaded, he was a loner and a person who pushed himself excessively. In his personal life, as in his work, he was both volatile and stubborn. Moreover, the view that this illness had psychological underpinnings is also supported by certain features of the malady itself. An ill-defined sickness, it lasted, off and on, for about a year.

Pierre-Simon Girard, who was still director of the Ourcq Canal and Paris Waterworks and who had a deep appreciation for young Cauchy'S abilities, might well have been responsible for having his former protege assigned once more to the Ourcq Canal project. In any event, Augustin-Louis was to replace the engineer Charles-Jean Lehot, who, because of engineering malfunctionings of the inner 36 3. The Waiting Room of the Academy aqueduct, now found himself in Girard's bad graces. In spite of all his protestations and requests, Lehot was to be punished, the administration having decided to assign him far away from the capital, in the department of the Puy-de-Dome (6).

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Augustin-Louis Cauchy: A Biography by Bruno Belhoste


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