Person: Bartholin, Erasmus
Erasmus Bartholin was a Danish mathematician and astronomer who wrote on geometry. He also discovered double refraction.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Caspar Bartholin was a Danish physician and theologian who wrote one of the most widely read Renaissance manuals of anatomy.
- He was a professor at the University of Copenhagen when Erasmus was born but died when Erasmus was less than four years old.
- Erasmus received his first education from private tutors, then he attended a Latin school.
- Bartholin edited Introduction to the geometry of Descartes by van Schooten and also translated Optics of Larissa into Latin.
- Bartholin considered the problem in geometric form.
- Bartholin could well have come across the proof in papers which Debeaune sent him for safe keeping shortly before his death in 1652.
- To see the range of topics on which Bartholin wrote, consider his book De naturae mirabilibus quaestiones academicae Ⓣ(Academic questions on the wonders of the nature) which he published in 1674.
- Bartholin wrote a large number of mathematical works but he is best remembered for his discovery of the double refraction of light through a crystal of Iceland spar which had been gathered in an expedition to Iceland in 1668.
- During his experiments, Bartholin also observed that when the crystals of Iceland spar are rotated about their axis, one of the two images moves in a circle around the other.
- Bartholin's explanation was based on Descartes' theory of light along with his idea that there were two sets of "pores" in the crystal.
- Bartholin also prepared for publication the observations of Tycho Brahe.
- Bartholin is also famed for his medical work, in particular his introduction of quinine in the fight against malaria.
- Thomas Bartholin founded the journal Acta medica et philosophica Hafniensia to which Erasmus Bartholin contributed papers.
Born 13 August 1625, Roskilde, Denmark. Died 4 November 1698, Copenhagen, Denmark.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin Denmark
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive