Person: Buée, Adrien Quentin
Adrien-Quentin Buée was a French priest and mathematician who worked on complex numbers and their graphical representation.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- There is no information about Buée's education.
- The first we know about Buée is that he arrived in Coutances Cathedral as master of music in February 1766.
- Buée's appointment was to replace the previous master of music at Coutances Cathedral, Pierre Simon Hollet de la Place, who had died on 5 January 1766 aged only twenty-four or twenty-five.
- There was a third Motet which deserved to compete, and which was also heard at the Concert with pleasure, it is by M Buée, Master of Music of the Cathedral of Coutances, aged 19 to 20.
- On Thursday 2 June 1768 Buée had another of his motets performed at the Concert Spirituel, namely Noli amulari.
- The fame he had achieved at the Concert Spirituel was a factor in Buée being recommended for the position of music master in the collegiate church of Saint-Martin in Tours in September 1768.
- Buée was given until Christmas to arrange his departure from Coutances.
- In August of 1771 Buée obtained a six week leave to go to Paris.
- This does not seem to be a very prestigious position but it appears that Buée was wanting to be in Paris to be in a position to look for something more important.
- Buée remained as a priest in the diocese of Paris, and was an incumbent of the chapel Sainte-Anne and that of Saint-Eutrope but without income.
- Buée was strongly opposed to the Revolution and began publishing strongly worded anti-Revolution pamphlets.
- Buée became a "prêtre réfractaire", that is a priest who had refused to take the oath imposed upon them, also called non-jurors.
- Buée choose to flee to England and settled in Bath.
- We have not be able to find any such, however, and all references to Buée that we have found for the time he spent in Bath refer to his work in mathematics and its applications.
- For example, in 1797 we find several of the problems in Dr Hutton's Mathematical Repository being answered by Buée.
- We do not know who this person is but suspect it is a misprint for "the celebrated M Haüy." Buée was certainly a friend of René-Just Haüy (1743-1822) who, like Buée, was a Roman Catholic priest who made important contributions to science, particularly to crystallography.
- Nicholson continues giving a review of the outline which Buée gives of his proposed work.
- According to Dr Peacock, M Buée is the first formal maintainer of the geometrical significance of √-1.
- Buée's memoir, referred to by De Morgan in this quote, was the Mémoire sur les quantités imaginaires Ⓣ(Memoir on imaginary quantities) was read in 1805 at the Royal Society and was published in 1806.
- Buée's achievements are likewise important for the conceptual development of the negative numbers and for the graphical representation of the complex numbers.
- In 1808 John Playfair criticised Buée's paper in an article he wrote for the Edinburgh Review.
- In 1804 Buée published Parallel of Romé de l'Isle's and the Abbé Haüy's Theories of Crystallography.
- 74-75, 1804) under the title "A letter from Abbé Buée to Mr ****, on Mr Romé de l'Isle and the Abbé Haüy's theories of crystallography." Originally written in French, Buée had authored the letter in order to contrast the differences between the crystallographic systems of Romé de l'Isle and Haüy, which at the time were both considered similar in nature.
- It is an important critique of Romé de l'Isle's system, which Buée characterizes as primarily descriptive, as opposed to Haüy's mathematically based system.
- In 1814 Buée left Bath and returned to France where he became an honorary canon at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.
- Buée continued his interest in the foundations of mathematics and wrote to a "mathematical gentlemen in London, who declines communicating his name to the public." His letter was published as "Solution to a Problem of Col Silas Titus" in the Annals of Philosophy in January 1815.
Born 6 October 1745, Paris, France. Died 11 October 1825, Paris, France.
View full biography at MacTutor
Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive