Person: Wilson (2), John
John Wilson is best known for Wilson's theorem: If $p$ is prime then $1 + (p - 1)!$ is divisible by $p$.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Before he took his final examinations Wilson had already gained a strong reputation and he had also attracted considerable attention by defending Waring, who was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, from strong attacks which had been made on him as a result of his text Miscellanea analytica Ⓣ(Miscellaneous analysis).
- On 7 July 1764 Wilson was elected a Fellow of Peterhouse and he taught mathematics at Cambridge with great skill, quickly gaining an outstanding reputation for himself.
- Almost certainly Wilson's theorem was a guess made by him, based on the evidence of a number of special cases, which neither he nor Waring knew how to prove.
- Almost certainly Wilson's interest in mathematics continued during his legal career for he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society on 13 March 1782.
- At the time that Wilson served on this body it was one of three courts which dealt with common-law business.
- The marriage, however, was not to be a long one for Wilson died only five years after his marriage.
Born 6 August 1741, Applethwaite, Westmoreland, England. Died 18 October 1793, Kendal, Westmoreland, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Arab, Origin England
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