A Mathematician's Journeys: Otto Neugebauer and Modern - download pdf or read online

ISBN-10: 3319258656

ISBN-13: 9783319258652

This ebook explores points of Otto Neugebauer's profession, his effect at the heritage and perform of arithmetic, and the ways that his legacy has been preserved or remodeled in fresh a long time, waiting for the instructions during which the examine of the historical past of technological know-how will head within the twenty-first century.

Neugebauer, greater than the other student of modern occasions, formed the best way we understand premodern technology. via his scholarship and impression on scholars and collaborators, he inculcated either an method of historic examine on historical and medieval arithmetic and astronomy via certain mathematical and philological examine of texts, and a imaginative and prescient of those sciences as structures of data and procedure that unfold outward from the traditional close to jap civilizations, crossing cultural limitations and circulating over an enormous geographical expanse of the outdated global from the Atlantic to India.

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Brouwer had long objected to this methodology, claiming that mathematical truths were fundamentally constructive in nature. Now Weyl brought this point home by comparing existence theorems with paper money, soon to become virtually valueless in the Weimar Republic. Thus, mathematics built on “general and existential propositions” should be seen as nothing more than: a monstrous “paper economy”. Real value, comparable to food products in the national economy, is only manifest in the singular; everything general, and all the existential statements, participate only indirectly.

Such a high mark was not to be expected in theoretical physics, especially since he had done virtually no course work in this area since coming to Göttingen. Max Born began by asking about Coulomb’s law, electrostatics, and the potential theory of electromagnetic fields, leading up to Maxwell’s theory and equations. He then moved on to van der Waal’s theory of ideal gases, the Joule-Thomson effect, and the second law of thermodynamics. Neugebauer may well have found it amusing that Born ended with this last topic, since he surely remembered Born’s unconvincing explanation when he had lectured on Zermelo’s paradox in thermodynamics.

Rowe theory. Oddly enough, he seems to have passed over Minkowski’s work entirely, starting with results of Sierpinski in order to move quickly to van der Corput’s recent findings (Van der Corput 1920). This, at any rate, is the impression left by Neugebauer’s rather sketchy notes, which suggest that he had no burning interest in this subject. After completing this second course with Landau, he seems to have entered the final phase of his educational journey as a budding mathematician. At this point he apparently stopped taking courses and began to search in earnest for a suitable dissertation topic.

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A Mathematician's Journeys: Otto Neugebauer and Modern Transformations of Ancient Science (Archimedes, Volume 45)


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