Niels Henrik Abel: Mathematician Extraordinary
American Mathematical Soc. - 277 pagina's
Few men are more famous in the world of modern mathematics than Niels Henrik Abel, whose concepts and results are familiar to all present-day mathematicians. This volume, the first biography of Abel published in English, presents the story of the brilliant young Norwegian whose scientific achievements were not fully recognized until after his untimely death. It is also a case history of our perennial problem of how to detect genius and ease its path. Abel was born in 1802 in Finnoy, a little island on the coast of Norway. His father was a minister and politician of national importance, but his family descended from prominence to moral dissolution. Abel's studies were financed by his professors, aware of his extraordinary abilities. He was granted a fellowship to travel and study on the continent, and the year and a half which he then spent in Germany, Italy, and France was a most happy period in his life. When Abel returned to Norway, he could only obtain a temporary position, and in his last years he was harassed by grave difficulties. He managed, however, to write inspired mathematical articles which made a reputation for him among the mathematicians of Europe. Just as the security he longed for seemed within his grasp, he died of tuberculosis at the age of 26. Abel's life has been the subject of several books, published in the Scandinavian countries, France, and Germany, but, in preparing this biography, Mr. Ore made use of much new material obtained from private letters, official documents, and newspaper files in various European sources.
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