Sonya K. and the “Brilliant” Life

  • Arild Stubhaug


The fact that Sonya Kovalevsky came to Stockholm in November 1883 also had to do with events in her personal life back in Russia. Vladimir Kovalevsky, the man to whom she had been married for fourteen years and with whom she had a daughter, had killed himself in April 1883 after several failed financial speculations. After months of grief, Sonya had gone to Berlin. Via Weierstrass, Mittag-Leffler had heard that Kovalevsky was again deeply immersed in mathematics issues, and that she had solved a hundred-year-old problem within the field of mathematical physics. This involved integrating completely the partial differential equations that govern the movement of light in double refractive crystals.


Stockholm College Usual Supper Monday Evening Sculpture Group General Function Theory 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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