Date: Mar 21, 2000 1:39 PM
Author: Alfred Ross
Subject: Re: [HM] L'Hopital, Pythagoras, Ptolemy and Hilbert

<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:

www-groups.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Bernoulli_Johann.html