2007-newdsb-poincare-walter.pdf - Poincaré Jules Henri...

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HAL Id: halshs-00266511 Submitted on 2 Jun 2016 HAL is a multi-disciplinary open access archive for the deposit and dissemination of sci- entific research documents, whether they are pub- lished or not. The documents may come from teaching and research institutions in France or abroad, or from public or private research centers. L’archive ouverte pluridisciplinaire HAL , est destinée au dépôt et à la diffusion de documents scientifiques de niveau recherche, publiés ou non, émanant des établissements d’enseignement et de recherche français ou étrangers, des laboratoires publics ou privés. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike| 4.0 International License Poincaré, Jules Henri French mathematician and scientist Scott Walter To cite this version: Scott Walter. Poincaré, Jules Henri French mathematician and scientist. Noretta Koertge. New Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Volume 6, Charles Scribner’s Sons, pp.121-125, 2007. halshs- 00266511
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Poincaré, Henri (1854–1912) French mathematician and scientist Scott A. Walter * Preliminary version of an article in Noretta Koertge (ed.), New Dictionary of Scientific Biography , Volume 6, pp. 121-125, New York, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2007. Poincaré, Jules Henri (b. Nancy, France, 29 April 1854; d. Paris, 17 July 1912), mathematics, celestial mechanics, theoretical physics, philosophy of science. For the original article on Poincaré by Jean Dieudonné see Volume 11. Historical studies of Henri Poincaré’s life and science turned a corner two years after the publication of Jean Dieudonné’s original DSB article, when Poincaré’s papers were microfilmed and made available to scholars. This and other primary sources engaged historical interest in Poincaré’s approach to mathematics, his contributions to pure and applied physics, his philosophy, and his influence on scientific institutions and policy. The result of these new sources and updated his- toriography is a new Poincaré: if Poincaré’s outstanding achievements in mathe- matics ensure his prominent position in the history of this subject, his corpus and intellectual legacy are known to extend well beyond mathematics proper, touch- ing the core methods of theoretical physics, and central tenets of the philosophy of science. Increased recognition of the breadth of Poincaré’s activity, from geodesy and electrical engineering to algebraic topology and the philosophy of space and time, is itself a prime result of Poincaré studies. A brief summary follows of the ways these studies have revised or enriched historical understanding of Poincaré’s life and work. Early Career Consider, to begin with, Jean Dieudonné’s evaluation of the young Poincaré’s spotty education in higher mathematics, gleaned from Poincaré’s published cor- respondence with Lazarus Fuchs and Felix Klein and since then confirmed, on * François-Viète Center, University of Nantes 1
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one hand, by studies of Poincaré’s qualitative theory of differential equations, and
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