Person: Badoureau, Albert
Albert Badoureau discovered 37 of the 75 non-prismatic uniform polyhedra in 1878. These were in addition to the 22 known at the time (5 Platonic solids, 13 Archimedean solids, and 4 Kepler-Poinsot polyhedra). He is also famed for his work in geology and for being the mathematical advisor to Jules Verne.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Charles Badoureau, born 16 January 1824 in Paris, was considered an excellent teacher, became the headmaster of the school and, in 1885, received the Légion d'honneur in recognition of his work as school principal.
- Badoureau attended the Collège Chaptal, an excellent school which gave a five-year course teaching mathematics, physics, natural sciences, French language and literature, modern languages, history, geography, industrial and artistic drawing, religious instruction, music, gymnastics and military exercises.
- Poincaré wrote a letter on 17 November 1873 describing the ceremony which took place when he was admitted at which Badoureau gave a speech of welcome.
- While he was a student at the École Polytechnique, Badoureau wrote the 10-page paper Note sur le Problème des Partis appliqué aux Jeux de Calcul Ⓣ(Note on the partition problem applied to calculating games) which was published in volume 27 of the Journal of the École Polytechnique in 1874.
- This work by Pascal and Fermat provided the bases for calculating probabilities, so Badoureau is generalising a very important problem.
- Badoureau was ranked first in the examinations of 1873 out of 273 students, and first in the examinations of 1874 out of 207 students.
- On 25 November 1878, Badoureau presented a memoir to the Académie des Sciences entitled Mémoire sur les figures isoscèles Ⓣ(Memoir on isosceles figures).
- Besides the five Platonic solids, the thirteen Archimedean solids, the four regular star-polyhedra of Kepler (1619) and Poinsot (1810), and the infinite families of prisms and antiprisms, there are at least fifty-three others, forty-one of which were discovered by Badoureau (1881) and Pitsch (1881).
- Badoureau discovered 37 of the 41 referred to above.
- This remarkable work by Badoureau certainly merits his inclusion in this Archive, but as we shall relate below, he is also famous for his collaboration with Jules Verne.
- In 1883 Badoureau was assigned to Amiens in his role as a mining engineer.
- In 1889 Badoureau published Les Sciences Expérimentales en 1889 Ⓣ(Experimental sciences in 1889).
- It was at the meetings of the Académie d'Amiens and the Société industrielle d'Amiens that Badoureau met Jules Verne.
- This resulted in Verne's book Sans dessus dessous Ⓣ(Topsy-turvy) (1889) being based on the scientific information supplied by Badoureau.
- Badoureau and Verne corresponded about the mathematical details, discussing the size of the cannon, the use of multiple cannons, the force required of the explosive to create the necessary velocity of the cannonball etc.
- Returning to Sans dessus dessous Ⓣ(Topsy-turvy) we note that one of the main characters, Alcide Pierdeux, is a slightly fictionalised version of Badoureau himself.
- After having designed the broad outlines, we asked our friend, M Badoureau, Mining Engineer, author of the learned exposition of 'Experimental Sciences', which has just appeared in the Quantin bookstore, the exact measurement of the various phenomena described in this novel.
- Now we are not used to seeing M Badoureau as a lyric.
- Marguerite and Albert Badoureau had a son, Yves Olaf René Emile Badoureau, born on 25 December 1893.
- In the year 1892, Badoureau published a book about mining, namely Les Mines, les minières et les carrières Ⓣ(Mines, miners and quarries).
- The style suggests that Badoureau collected notes he had made over several years but, perhaps due to deteriorating health, did not combine them smoothly into a well-constructed text.
- We have mentioned above Badoureau's theoretical work on probability and card games; he published papers on baccarat, whist and piquet.
- In 1894 Badoureau left Amiens and spent his last years in Paris.
Born 18 May 1853, Paris, France. Died 20 July 1923, Paris, France.
View full biography at MacTutor
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive