Person: Puiseux, Victor Alexandre
Victor Puiseux worked on elliptic functions and studied computational methods in astronomy.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Louis Victor Puiseux was born in Paris on 23 June 1783 and became a tax collector.
- Louis Victor was an accountant whose job was to collect the taxes on these goods.
- François Léon Puiseux studied at the colleges of Pont-à-Mousson, Metz and Henri IV in Paris, and entered the École normale in Paris in 1834.
- In 1834 Victor went to Paris and became a boarder at the Collège Rollin.
- At the Collège Rollin, Puiseux attended lecture courses by Charles Sturm on special mathematics.
- In 1836 Puiseux sat the Concours général, the most prestigious academic competition for high school students in France.
- Although passionately interested in science, Puiseux also spent much time in philosophical and religious discussions with his fellow students.
- In 1840 Puiseux was placed first in his final examination at the École Normale Supérieure and spent another year studying in Paris.
- From 1841 until 1845 Puiseux taught at the Collège Royal in Rennes.
- Another scientist appointed at the same time was the chemist Henri Étienne Sainte-Claire Deville (1818-1881) and Puiseux quickly became friends with his colleague Deville.
- During this period Puiseux published a series of more than ten papers in Liouville's Journal.
- Puiseux was appointed to the École Normale Supérieure as an assistant lecturer in differential calculus in 1849, replacing Jean-Marie Duhamel.
- Jules Tannery was one of Puiseux's students at the École Normale.
- From 1868 to 1872 Puiseux held a post at the Bureau de Longitudes.
- Puiseux, despite being 50 years old, was given a role in defending the city.
- Puiseux had attended courses by Cauchy early in his career and he soon became interested in research in the topics Cauchy was studying.
- Puiseux contributed to the problem of the acceleration of the mean motion of the Moon with his major paper Sur les principales integalites du mouvement de la lune Ⓣ(On the main integrals of the movement of the moon) (1864).
- Although a purely negative conclusion, Puiseux's finding led to a better delimitation of the problem, which was investigated by G Hill in 1877.
- Victor's son, Pierre Puiseux also studied the motion of the moon.
- Victor Puiseux also worked on elliptic functions and studied computational methods which were used to reduce astronomical data.
- We have already noted that Puiseux was a keen mountaineer but we should record that he was the first to scale an Alpine peak which is now named after him.
Born 16 April 1820, Argenteuil, Val-d'Oise, France. Died 9 September 1883, Frontenay, 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