Person: Castigliano, Carlo Alberto
Alberto Castigliano was an Italian mathematician and physicist who may be credited with the discovery of the principle of least work.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- After four years in Terni, in Umbria, Castigliano moved north again, this time to become a student at the Polytechnic of Turin.
- After graduating from the Polytechnic of Turin, Castigliano was employed by the Northern Italian Railways.
- In his dissertation there appears a theorem which is now named after Castigliano.
- Castigliano's results contain the principle of least work as a special case and this was to lead to a dispute with Menabrea in which Castigliano came off less well than he had hoped.
- Certainly when Menabrea attempted another proof of his principle in 1875 he used Castigliano's results but his only reference to Castigliano was in a footnote.
- Castigliano did not find this satisfactory and objected to the lack of recognition given to him by Menabrea.
- Cremona chaired a special meeting of the Accademia dei Lincei which was asked to judge whether Menabrea had indeed acted unfairly towards Castigliano.
Born 9 November 1847, Asti, Piemonte (now Italy). Died 25 October 1884, Milan, Italy.
View full biography at MacTutor
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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