Person: Linfoot, Edward Hubert
Hubert Linfoot was a British mathematician who worked in optics as well as pure mathematics.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- George Linfoot was a violinist and mathematician who was a school teacher of mathematics before becoming Director of Music for the Sheffield Local Education Authority.
- Despite still being an undergraduate, Linfoot was already undertaking research and published his first paper The domains of convergence of Kummer's solutions to the Riemann P-equation in 1926.
- In 1926 Linfoot graduated B.A. with First Class Honours in mathematics and he was awarded a Goldsmith Senior Scholarship to enable him to undertake research supervised by Hardy.
- Three of Linfoot's papers were published in 1928: On the "Law of large numbers" I; On the "Law of large numbers" II; and Generalisation of two theorems of H Bohr.
- Also in 1928, Linfoot was awarded his doctorate after submitting his thesis Applications of the Theory of Functions of a Complex Variable in which he studied almost periodic functions.
- Linfoot had already adopted the practice of taking notes of high quality of all courses he attended, and most of his beautifully written notebooks survive including those of the Göttingen courses he attended.
- Linfoot already spoke German fluently before his Göttingen visit, and after spending the year in Germany he was often mistaken for being German.
- The courses Linfoot attended in Göttingen were delivered in German but written up by him in English.
- After spending this year in Göttingen, Linfoot spent the next two academic years in Princeton supported by a Jane Eliza Procter Fellowship.
- Linfoot returned to Balliol College in 1931 and taught there until he was appointed as an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Bristol in 1932.
- He went to the University of Bristol and began lifelong friendship with Linfoot.
- The 1930s were a time of change for Linfoot.
- Linfoot was determined to serve his country and make a significant contribution to the war effort despite knowing that his poor physical health would mean that he would fail a medical for military service.
- Linfoot began to build optical instruments in the H H Wills laboratory of the Physics Department at Bristol University.
- Linfoot began almost immediately to write programs which were well received by the laboratory personnel since they ran for a reasonable length of time and so enabled the computer's performance to be properly accessed.
- The first of Linfoot's two major books was Recent advances in optics (1955).
- One important aspect of Linfoot's work was his application to optics of new ideas in information theory which had just been published by Claude Shannon.
- Linfoot's expertise in optics for astronomical instruments led to him being in demand as a consultant for the building of several major telescopes.
Born 8 June 1905, Sheffield, England. Died 14 October 1982, Cambridge, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin England
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive