Person: Landen, John
John Landen was an English amateur mathematician who wrote on mechanics, summation of series and elliptic functions.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- John trained to become a surveyor and practised that occupation in Peterborough from 1740 to 1762.
- Landen was never a professional mathematician and his interest in mathematics was for him a leisure activity.
- Lacroix discussed this work in Traité Du calcul différentiel where he stated that Landen was the first to present calculus in a purely algebraic setting.
- Landen's work appeared as A Short Discourse Concerning the Residual Analysis published in 1758 and, in a more complete form, in Residual analysis which was published in 1764.
- His ideas on this topic were later taken up by Lagrange although he describes Landen's contribution as an unsophisticated early attempt.
- Landen investigated the dilogarithm in 1760, about the same time as Euler, and introduced the trilogarithm.
- Landen wrote on dynamics, summation of series and an important transformation giving a relation between elliptic functions.
- Naturally, Landen's language is that of his time, in terms of fluents and fluxions, and his arguments are not rigorous in the modern sense.
- Applications of this result appeared in Landen's Mathematical memoirs of 1780.
Born 23 January 1719, Peakirk (near Peterborough), England. Died 15 January 1790, Milton (near Peterborough), England.
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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