Person: Tisserand, François-Félix
Félix Tisserand was a French astronomer who updated Laplace's standard work.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- In his doctoral thesis, written in 1868, Tisserand extended Delaunay's work on the three-body problem on the orbit of the Moon.
- Tisserand was then appointed as an assistant-astronomer at the Paris Observatory.
- Tisserand showed remarkable abilities in his work at the Observatory and it was clear that he would soon achieve an elevated position in the world of astronomy.
- In 1873 Tisserand was appointed director of the Toulouse Observatory to succeed Daguin, a post which he held for five years.
- At the Toulouse Observatory Tisserand appointed two young astronomers, Joseph Perrotin and Guillaume Bigourdan, to help him in his observational work.
- Neither were experienced in astronomy but Tisserand had made two good choices for he soon trained the young men to become astronomers of outstanding qualities.
- Tisserand did not spend the whole of his five years as director in Toulouse.
- A transit of Venus is when the planet passed in front of the disc of the sun as viewed from the Earth and Tisserand took a year to make the journey to Japan, make his observations, and return to France.
- After Tisserand returned to France and took over again as director of the Observatory in Toulouse he had a new instrument installed.
- Tisserand decided to undertake a programme of measurement of the separation of binary stars, but he discovered that the micrometer used for such measurements did not work.
- Tisserand took over the task of completing this major work and arranged for its publication.
- Tisserand is especially remembered for his four volume textbook which is an update of Laplace's work.
Born 13 January 1845, Nuits-St-Georges, Côte-d'Or, France. Died 20 October 1896, Paris, France.
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Thank you to the contributors under CC BY-SA 4.0!
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive