Person: Puiseux (2), Pierre
Pierre Puiseux was a French astronomer who worked on the aberration of light, asteroids and lunar dynamics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- At this time Pierre was only three years old and perhaps too young to understand what had happened, but he must have felt the intense sadness.
- Although only a young lad, Pierre loved this time in the country and mountainside.
- Pierre, whose studies were all in Paris, began his school studies at the Lycée Henri IV, then entered the Lycée Saint-Louis in 1865.
- Augustin Boutan (1820-1900), professor of physics and Headmaster of the Lycée, was a friend of Victor Puiseux.
- It is remarkable to think that Pierre, only twelve years old at the time, could make such an ascent.
- This experience gave Pierre a life-long passion for mountaineering.
- Over the winter, the mathematics teacher at the local Lycée was absent due to the war and Pierre took over teaching mathematics at the school.
- After the armistice at the end of January 1871 Pierre returned to Paris and continued with his schooling at the Lycée Saint-Louis.
- In 1875 Pierre sat the entrance examinations in mathematics for the École Normale Supérieure and later that year he began his studies there.
- For example, Pierre and André climber the Dard in 1876, Victor, Pierre and André reached the summit of the Chasseforêt on 1 September 1876, André and Pierre climber the Labby on 4 August, and Pierre climbed the Arpont on 20 August 1876.
- This important work was published in the same year and Pierre was awarded his doctorate.
- On 20 November, Pierre applied for admission to the Paris Observatory as a student-astronomer, and was accepted on 1 December 1879.
- Pierre Puiseux was part of the Martinique expedition headed by Felix Tisserand (1845-1896) which also included Guillaume Bigourdan.
- Pierre Puiseux published Note sur le passage de Vénus de 1882 Ⓣ(Note on the passage of Venus of 1882) in the Connaissance des temps ou des mouvements célestes à l'usage des astronomes et des navigateurs Ⓣ(Knowledge of celestial times or movements for the use of astronomers and navigators) published by the Bureau des longitudes.
- We have emphasised above the important part that mountaineering had in Pierre Puiseux's life but this was not just a hobby.
- In 1882, Loewy with Pierre Puiseux as his assistant, began working on the design and construction of the telescope.
- Maurice Loewy and Pierre Puiseux published a description of this work in their book Théorie nouvelles de l'équatorial coudé et des équatoriaux en général Ⓣ(New theory of the equatorial elbow and equatorial in general) published in 1888.
- The major work that Loewy and Pierre Puiseux undertook with the Grand Equatorial Coudé was their monumental Atlas Photographique de la Lune Ⓣ(Photographic atlas of the Moon).
- This required fourteen years to complete between 1894 and 1909 and in fact Loewy died in 1907 so Pierre Puiseux headed the project on his own in its final stages.
- The Paris Observatory sent an expedition to Cistierna, Léon, Spain led by Pierre Puiseux and also involving Maurice Hamy, Charles Le Morvan, Jules Baillaud and Georges Prin.
- In 1908 Pierre Puiseux published the book La terre et la lune : forme extérieure et structure interne Ⓣ(The Earth and the Moon: External form and internal structure) giving his theory regarding the craters on the moon.
- The principal work carried out by Loewy and Puiseux was on lunar photography.
- These were carefully examined by Puiseux, who made the enlargements from which the fine atlas of seventy-one sheets was constructed.
- It was Puiseux also who wrote the descriptions and discussed the results.
- Pierre Puiseux received many honours.
Born 20 July 1855, Paris, France. Died 28 September 1928, Fontenay, Jura, 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