Person: Hartree, Douglas Rayner
Douglas Hartree was an English mathematician and physicist who worked in numerical analysis.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Douglas's school education was in Cambridge and Petersfield.
- Hartree held the chair at Manchester from 1929 to 1937 when he moved to the chair of theoretical physics.
- Hartree was basically a theoretical physicist, and he developed powerful methods in numerical analysis.
- However Niels Bohr gave a lecture course in Cambridge in 1921 and Hartree was much influenced, working on applications of numerical methods for integrating differential equations to calculate atomic wave functions.
- Hartree learnt of a differential analyzer being developed by Vannevar Bush in the USA.
- Hartree visited Boston to learn about the workings of the differential analyzer, then returned to Manchester and built his own.
- The differential analyzer was soon to be replaced by electronic computers and when John Eckert set up ENIAC, Hartree was asked to go to the USA to advise on its use.
- In addition to applying numerical methods to ballistics, Hartree applied them to the physics of the atmosphere and to hydrodynamics.
- One of Hartree's strengths was in the breadth of his research knowledge.
Born 27 March 1897, Cambridge, England. Died 12 February 1958, Cambridge, England.
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