Leonhard Euler and the Bernoullis: Mathematicians from Basel, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Leonhard Euler and the Bernoullis

Mathematicians from Basel, 1st Edition

By M. B. W. Tent

A K Peters/CRC Press

296 pages

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pub: 2009-09-18
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"Leonhard Euler and the Bernoullis is a fascinating tale of the Bernoulli family and Euler's association with them. Successful merchants in the 16th and 17th centuries, the Bernoullis were driven out of Antwerp during the persecution of the Huguenots and settled first in Frankfurt, and then in Basel, where one of the most remarkable mathematical dynasties evolved with Jacob, Johann, and Daniel Bernoulli the most prominent among them. Euler, fortunate to have had Johann Bernoulli as a tutor, quickly rose to prominence in the academies of Berlin and St. Petersburg, and became the most prolific and profound mathematician that ever lived.

The story of these remarkable men, their great ambitions and dedication to their science-often against parental authority-is skillfully told by the author. Refreshing fictional dialogue is interspersed throughout into an otherwise accurate historical scenario. The book is intended for the young adult audience of middle school and early high school ages, but surely will also appeal to a general audience, with or without mathematical background."

--Walter Gautschi, Purdue University


…the story told is interesting, and the author is to be complimented for her efforts to make it as historically accurate as possible.

—J. Johnson, CHOICE, June 2010

Tent’s attention to detail, both mathematically and historically, is excellent.

—Rob Bradley, London Mathematical Society, April 2010

…an interesting and entertaining biography of Leonhard Euler (1707–1783) and of some of the Bernoullis, aimed at middle and high school students … the book emphasizes day-to-day life and the relations between the mathematicians, especially the forever-squabbling Bernoullis.

MAA Reviews, November 2009

Table of Contents

The Bernoullis as Huguenots

The Bernoulli Family in Frankfurt and Then Basel

Jacob Makes His First Steps in the Study of Mathematics

His Little Brother Johann "Helps" Jacob with Mathematics

Having Completed His Studies in Philosophy and Theology, Jacob Moves On

Jacob Travels to Geneva and Meets Elizabeth Waldkirch and Her Family

Jacob Teaches Elizabeth Waldkirch to Read and Write Numbers and Words

Sundials, and Tutoring in France

Jacob Meets with Mathematicians in Paris

Jacob Travels to Holland and England

Jacob Settles into Life in Basel to Lecture and Learn

Leibniz’s Calculus vs. Newton’s Fluxions

Johann Bernoulli Grows Up

Two Curves Studied by the Bernoullis: The Isochrone and the Catenary

More Mathematical Challenges from the Bernoullis

Jacob Bernoulli’s Mathematics

Johann Bernoulli Returns to Basel with His Family

Johann Bernoulli’s Son Daniel Grows Up

Daniel Bernoulli, the Paris Prize, and the Longitude Problem

Leonhard Euler

Leonhard Euler’s Early Education

Leonhard Euler Goes to the Latin School in Basel and Then on to the University

Daniel and Nicolaus Bernoulli Receive a Call to the Academy at St. Petersburg

The Academy of Sciences at St. Petersburg

Euler Begins His Career and Moves to St. Petersburg

Daniel Bernoulli and Leonhard Euler: An Active Scientific Partnership

The St. Petersburg Paradox

Euler’s Early Work in St. Petersburg

Daniel Returns to Basel, and Leonhard Euler Becomes Professor of Mathematics at St. Petersburg

Daniel Bernoulli: A Famous Scholar

Leonhard Euler: Admired Professor at St. Petersburg

Euler Becomes Blind in His Right Eye

St. Petersburg Loses Euler to Frederick the Great of Prussia

The Eulers Arrive at the Court of Frederick the Great in Berlin

Euler’s Scientific Work in Berlin

Euler’s Work in Number Theory

Magic Squares

Catherine the Great Invites Euler to Return to St. Petersburg

The Basel Clan

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BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Recreations & Games