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Die Werke von Jakob Bernoulli

Bd. 5: Differentialgeometrie



About this book

This volume contains the work of the great Swiss mathematician on differential geometry, a field marked by some of his greatest achievements. Between 1690 and 1700, Jacob Bernoulli published twelve treatises in the scientific journal Acta Eruditorum on the use of infinitesimal methods to answer geometrical questions. Preparatory notes for most of these papers and on many other themes are found in Bernoulli's scientific diary Meditationes, from which twentynine texts are published here for the first time. Among the curves considered are the isochrones (lines of constant descent), the parabolic spiral, the loxodrome, the cycloid, the tractrix, and the logarithmic spiral (Bernoulli's spira mirabilis, which also adorns his tombstone). The description of these curves by differential equations and by geometrical constructions, their rectification and quadrature, and the determination of their evolutes and caustics offered Bernoulli and his colleagues a range of challenging problems, many of them relevant for mechanical or optical applications. The French mathematician André Weil, who lived in the United States until his recent death, has greatly influenced 20th century mathematics, among other things, as a founding member of the Bourbaki group. For many years he has pursued intensive studies of the history of mathematics, especially number theory and algebraic geometry. Weil's introduction to this volume places Jacob Bernoulli's contribution to differential geometry in a line of development from Descartes, Huygens and Barrow through Newton's und Leibniz's epochal innovations right up to the codification of the subject by Euler. Martin Mattmüller, secretary of the Bernoulli Edition at Basel, edited the source text. His commentaries consider particular topics in differential geometry with reference to their historical context at the end of the 17th century.


  • 17. Jahrhundert
  • Differentialgeometrie

Authors, Editors and Affiliations

  • Arlesheim, Switzerland

    David Speiser

  • Princeton, USA

    André Weil

  • Euler-Archiv, Basel, Switzerland

    Martin Mattmüller

  • Basel, Switzerland

    Jakob Bernoulli

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Die Werke von Jakob Bernoulli

  • Book Subtitle: Bd. 5: Differentialgeometrie

  • Authors: Jakob Bernoulli

  • Editors: David Speiser, André Weil, Martin Mattmüller

  • Publisher: Birkhäuser Basel

  • Copyright Information: Birkhäuser Basel 1999

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-7643-5779-5Published: 28 June 1999

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: 445

  • Topics: Mathematics