Person: Saint-Venant, Jean Claude
Jean Claude Saint-Venant worked mainly on mechanics, elasticity, hydrostatics and hydrodynamics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- For the first seven of these 27 years Saint-Venant worked for the Service des Poudres et Salpêtres, then he spent the next twenty years working for the Service des Ponts et Chaussées.
- Saint-Venant attended lectures at the Collège de France and the lecture notes he took in Liouville's 1839-40 class still survive.
- Saint-Venant worked mainly on mechanics, elasticity, hydrostatics and hydrodynamics.
- Saint-Venant got it right and recorded it.
- We should remark that Stokes, like Saint-Venant, correctly derived the Navier-Stokes equations but he published the results two years after Saint-Venant.
- Saint-Venant developed a vector calculus similar to that of Grassmann which he published in 1845.
- Grassmann had published his results in 1844, but Saint-Venant claimed (and there is little reason to doubt him) that he had first developed these ideas in 1832.
- In the book "Principes de mécanique fondés sur la cinématique" Saint-Venant, a convinced atomist, presented forces as divorced from the metaphysical concept of cause and from the physiological concept of muscular effort, both of which, in his opinion, obscured force as a kinematic concept accessible to the calculus.
- In the 1850s Saint-Venant derived solutions for the torsion of non-circular cylinders.
- In 1868 Saint-Venant was elected to succeed Poncelet in the mechanics section of the Académie des Sciences.
- At age 86 he translated (with A Flamant) Clebsch's work on elasticity into French and published it as Théorie de l'élasticité des corps solides Ⓣ(Theory of the elasticity of solids) and Saint-Venant added notes to the text which he wrote himself.
Born 23 August 1797, Villiers-en-Bière, Seine-et-Marne, France. Died 6 January 1886, St Ouen, Loir-et-Cher, France.
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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