number theory

It is not Certain that Everything is Uncertain – Blaise Pascal’s Thoughts

It is not Certain that Everything is Uncertain – Blaise Pascal’s Thoughts

“It is not certain that everything is uncertain.” is one of the many profound insights that philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) published in his seminal work entiteled “Pensées” (Thoughts, published in 1669, after his death). He literally had versatile scientific interests, as he provided influential contributions in the field of mathematics, physics, engineering, as well as in religious philosophy. Blaise Pascal was a child prodigy educated by his father Étienne Pascal, a tax…
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Although I Cannot Prove it… – The Famous Goldbach Conjecture

Although I Cannot Prove it… – The Famous Goldbach Conjecture

On the 7th of June in the year of our Lord 1742, Prussian mathematician Christian Goldbach wrote a letter to his famous colleague Leonard Euler, which should make history. Well, at least in the mathematical world. In this letter Christian Goldbach refined an already previously stated conjecture from number theory concerning primes to his friend Euler, which by today is known as the famous Goldbach conjecture. It states: Every even integer greater…
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Pierre de Fermat and his Last Problem

Pierre de Fermat and his Last Problem

Pierre de Fermat On January 12, 1665, French lawyer and amateur mathematician Pierre de Fermat, famous for his research in number theory, analytical geometry and probability theory, passed away. He is best known for Fermat’s Last Theorem, which he described in a note at the margin of a copy of Diophantus’ Arithmetica.[4] Born into a wealthy French family, Pierre de Fermat grew up in Beaumont de Lomagne and later attended the University…
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Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov and the Goldbach Conjecture

Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov and the Goldbach Conjecture

On September 14, 1891, Soviet mathematician Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov was born. Vinogradov is best known for his contributions to the analytical theory of numbers, including a partial solution of the Goldbach conjecture proving that every sufficiently large odd integer can be expressed as the sum of three odd primes. Ivan Matveevich Vinogradov was born to Matvei Avraam’evich Vinogradov, a priest in Milolyub, a village in the Velikie Luki district of the Pskov…
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Emil Artin and Algebraic Number Theory

Emil Artin and Algebraic Number Theory

On March 3, 1898, Austrian mathematician Emil Artin was born. Artin was one of the leading mathematicians of the twentieth century. He is best known for his work on algebraic number theory, contributing largely to class field theory and a new construction of L-functions. He also contributed to the pure theories of rings, groups and fields. Emil Artin was born in Vienna to parents Emma Maria Artin, a soubrette on the operetta…
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Jacques Hadamard and the Description of Mathematical Thought

Jacques Hadamard and the Description of Mathematical Thought

  On December 8, 1865, French mathematician Jacques Salomon Hadamard was born. Hadamard made major contributions in number theory, complex function theory, differential geometry and partial differential equations. Moreover, he is also known for his description of the mathematical though process in his book Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field. Jacques Hadamard was born the son of a teacher, Amédée Hadamard, of Jewish descent, and Claire Marie Jeanne Picard, in Versailles,…
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Bernhard Riemann’s novell approaches to Geometry

Bernhard Riemann’s novell approaches to Geometry

  On September 17, 1826, influential German mathematician Bernhard Riemann was born. Riemann‘s profound and novel approaches to the study of geometry laid the mathematical foundation for Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. He also made important contributions to the theory of functions, complex analysis, and number theory. Bernhard Riemann was born in Breselenz, a village near Dannenberg in the Kingdom of Hannover, today in Germany, as the second of six children to…
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James Joseph Sylvester – Lawyer and Mathematician

James Joseph Sylvester – Lawyer and Mathematician

On September 3, 1815, English mathematician James Joseph Sylvester was born. He made fundamental contributions to matrix theory, invariant theory, number theory, partition theory and combinatorics. He also was the founder of the American Journal of Mathematics. Sylvester’s Dificulties to obtain an official Scientific Degree Sylvester was born James Joseph in London, England, to Abraham Joseph, a Jewish merchant. James adopted the surname Sylvester when his older brother did so upon emigration to…
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Hermann Minkowski and the four-dimensional Space-Time

Hermann Minkowski and the four-dimensional Space-Time

On June 22, 1864, German mathematician Hermann Minkowski was born. Minkowski developed the geometry of numbers and used geometrical methods to solve problems in number theory, mathematical physics, and the theory of relativity. But he is perhaps best known for his work in relativity, in which he showed in 1907 that his former student Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity can be understood geometrically as a theory of four-dimensional space–time, since known as the “Minkowski…
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Siméon Denis Poisson’s Contributions to Mathematics

Siméon Denis Poisson’s Contributions to Mathematics

On June 21, 1781, French mathematician, geometer, and physicist Siméon Denis Poisson was born. He is known known for his work on definite integrals, advances in Fourier series, electromagnetic theory, and probability, esp. the eponymous Poisson series, the Poisson integral and the Poisson equation from potential theory. His works also included applications to electricity and magnetism, and astronomy. Poisson was born in Pithiviers, Loiret, the son of soldier Siméon Poisson, who after retiring…
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