Person: Riccati (3), Giordano
Giordano Riccati made contributions to music, architecture, mechanics and mathematics. He studied and experimented with Young's modulus 25 years before Young.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Jacopo Riccati was of independent means and had a large estate at Castelfranco, Veneto, a small town about 30 km north of Padua and about 40 km north west of Venice.
- We know something of Giordano's teachers at the College.
- Giordano Riccati distinguished himself as the best student in the rhetoric class.
- The standard course at the Collegio San Francesco Saverio lasted five years and, in 1725, Riccati went to the Accademia degli Argonauti in Bologna.
- At the Academy, in addition to his academic studies, Riccati learned to play the mandolin and the chitarrone (a large lute) and he followed the drawing course of Carlo Girolamo Niccolini.
- This broad education influenced Riccati to take an interest in a wide range of subjects but he approached them all in a mathematical way.
- In September 1727 Ramiro Rampinelli arrived in Castelfranco, sent there by Eustachio Manfredi and Gabriele Manfredi to deliver a letter and to enquire about Jacopo Riccati's latest research.
- Ramiro Rampinelli and Giordano Riccati became good friends and, when Riccati went to the University of Padua in 1729 to study law, he met up with Rampinelli and they both attended the hydraulics lectures of Giovanni Poleni, as well as the lectures of the physician and naturalist Antonio Vallisneri (1661-1730), of the classics professor Domenico Lazzarini (1668-1734), and of the theologian Jacopo G Serry.
- Giordano Riccati and Ramiro Rampinelli remained good friends and, from 1730 to 1758 when Rampinelli suffered a stroke, the two exchanged over 200 letters discussing their common scientific interests.
- The correspondence begins on 28 April 1730, when Rampinelli, turned to his friend Giordano Riccati to discuss architectural issues in which both were very interested, taking advantage of their friendship to seek explanations on certain matters from Jacopo Riccati.
- It is available in critical edition edited by Silvia Mazzone and Clara Silvia Roero, with the collaboration of Erika Luciano, in 'L'epistolario di Jacopo, Vincenzo e Giordano Riccati con Ramiro Rampinelli e Maria Gaetana Agnesi 1727-1758' (2010).
- Of this material 62 letters and 4 attachments are the work of Giordano Riccati.
- Rampinelli submits to Giordano's judgment the handouts he draws up for his students ...
- Music motivated Giordano Riccati's interest in strings and pipes which he approached in a mathematical way.
- Riccati applied much mathematics to this study which is highly technical.
- Riccati's equally precise observations of violin strings confirm that through the influence of Giuseppe Tartini (with whom he corresponded) violin strings in the Veneto had been thickened into 'regular ropes' for greater sound.
- In a letter to the Marquis Angelo Gabrielli (dated 6 February 1760), who had been asked by Riccati to be an arbitrator between him and Tartini ...
- Tartini vigorously refutes the objections formulated by Riccati in the dissertation ...
- Riccati sent Rampinelli several manuscripts on architecture making up the Compendio di architettura Ⓣ(Compendium of architecture).
- Giordano Riccati was much involved with giving advice to Maria Gaetana Agnesi who was being taught by Rampinelli.
- In June 1746 Agnesi's manuscript on the differential calculus was sent to Giordano Riccati.
- In 1782 Riccati published Delle vibrazioni sonore dei cilindri Ⓣ(On the sound vibrations of cylinders) in which he computed what, in the language of today, would be the ratio of Young's modulus for steel to that of brass, obtaining the remarkably accurate value of 2.06.
- Of course since Thomas Young did not undertake his work until 25 years after Riccati's work was published, the statement we have just made is not in the form in which Riccati expressed this result.
- To suggest that the modulus should be named after Riccati and not Thomas Young would not be entirely fair, however, since the concept appears in Leonard Euler's work in 1727.
- Giordano Riccati's contributions were so varied that in many ways he has not, until comparatively recently, received the recognition that he deserves.
- Carlo, Giordano and Francesco Riccati all died in the space of two years between 1789 and 1791.
- Vincenzo Riccati had died in 1775.
- Domenico Maria Federici, an important figure in the Venetian culture of the eighteenth century, knew Giordano Riccati well and wrote his obituary which included the oration which Federici delivered at Riccati's funeral.
Born 25 February 1709, Castelfranco, Veneto (now Italy). Died 20 July 1790, Treviso, Veneto (now Italy).
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive