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Topic:
[HM] L'Hopital, Pythagoras, Ptolemy and Hilbert
Replies:
25
Last Post:
Jul 19, 2000 9:37 PM




Re: [HM] L'Hopital, Pythagoras, Ptolemy and Hilbert
Posted:
Mar 21, 2000 1:39 PM


<quote> Johann's first publication was on the process of fermentation in 1690, certainly not a mathematical topic but in 1691 Johann went to Geneva where he lectured on the differential calculus. From Geneva, Johann made his way to Paris and there he met mathematicians in Malebranche's circle, where the focus of French mathematics was at that time. There Johann met de l'Hopital and they engaged in deep mathematical conversations. Contrary to what is commonly said these days, de l'Hopital was a fine mathematician, perhaps the best mathematician in Paris at that time, although he was not quite in the same class as Johann Bernoulli.
Now de l'Hopital was delighted to discover that Johann Bernoulli understood the new calculus methods that Leibniz had just published and he asked Johann to teach him these methods. This Johann agreed to do and the lessons were taught both in Paris and also at de l'Hopital's country house at Oucques. Bernoulli received generous payment from de l'Hopital for these lessons, and indeed they were worth a lot for few other people would have been able to have given them. After Bernoulli returned to Basel he still continued his calculus lessons by correspondence, and this did not come cheap for de l'Hopital who paid Bernoulli half a professor's salary for the instruction. However it did assure de l'Hopital of a place in the history of mathematics since he published the first calculus book Analyse des infiniment petits pour l'intelligence des lignes courbes (1696) which was based on the lessons that Johann Bernoulli sent to him.
As one would expect, it upset Johann Bernoulli greatly that this work did not acknowledge the fact that it was based on his lectures. </quote>
Reference: wwwgroups.mcs.stand.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Bernoulli_Johann.html



