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Henri Poincaré: Impatient Genius (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 9. August 2012

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From the reviews:

“Henri Poincaré (1854-1912) is arguably one of the two greatest mathematicians of the late-19th and early-20th centuries. … The volume is roughly divided into two parts: the first part is an account of Poincaré’s life, with particular focus on his professional exploits; the second is a discussion of many aspects of his mathematics. The latter strongly emphasizes differential equations, dynamical systems, and mathematical physics … . Summing Up: Recommended. Mathematics and history of science collections serving upper-division undergraduates through faculty.” (S. J. Colley, Choice, Vol. 50 (7), March, 2013)

“The very readable book conveys a good impression to the reader about Poincaré’s life and work supported by many illustrations. … the book is of special interest for historians of mathematics, mathematicians and mathematical physicists with historical inclinations, but also a reader with a lower mathematical training will gain a colourful insight into the life and personality of a genius.” (Karl-Heinz Schlote, zbMATH, Vol. 1272, 2013)

“With this book, Verhulst did a marvelous job in sketching not only the person of Henri Poincaré, but also by restricting to … the differential equations and dynamical systems, among the diverse subjects that Poincaré worked on, he succeeds very well in communicating the essence of what the theory is about. … This is a book obviously interesting for historians of mathematics, but also for any mathematician … who want to catch a glimpse of the person and the mind of a genius.” (A. Bultheel, The European Mathematical Society, October, 2012)


This book describes the life and work of Henri Poincaré, detailing most of his unique achievements in mathematics and physics. It is divided into two parts—the first on Poincaré’s life, and the second on his contributions to the mathematical sciences. Apart from biographical details, attention is given to Poincaré’s results on automorphic functions; differential equations and dynamical systems; celestial mechanics; mathematical physics, in particular the theory of the electron and relativity; and topology (analysis situs). A chapter on philosophy explains Poincaré’s conventionalism in mathematics and his view of conventionalism in physics. The book shows how Poincaré reached his fundamentally new results in many different fields, how he thought about problems, and how one should read his work. Simultaneously, it is made clear how analysis and geometry are intertwined in Poincaré’s thinking and work. In dynamical systems, this becomes clear in his description of invariant manifolds, his association of differential equation flow with mappings, and his fixed-point theory. There is no comparable book on Poincaré presenting such a relatively complete vision of his life and the working of his very original mind. Scientists and engineers as well as general readers interested in the history of science will find this book of interest.

Reviews of this book:"The title of this biography is particularly well chosen : Henri Poincaré was a true genius, and he was impatient. It gives a fair picture of both the man and the scientist, completed by particularly well chosen illustrations.

Jean Mawhin, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium

"Ferdinand Verhulst has written a true scientific biography, introducing Poincaré the man, his cultural milieu, and his mathematics. This book shows why, a century after his death, Poincaré's ideas still shape a substantial part of the mathematical sciences."

Philip J Holmes, Princeton University, USA


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Amazon.com: 3 Rezensionen
7 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Poincare 17. Oktober 2012
Von Suriya Eh Nop - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I expected more details on his biography. The book was separated into 2 part, chapter 1-6 for about his life (less details) and the rest is about his work (more technical). My aspectation on this book is will be similiar to Madam Curie (which i purchased earlier). I saw another book about Poincare which i hope that will tell more about his life
2 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Poincare is here to stay. 29. Oktober 2013
Von L. V. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The XX century initial years were dominated by the figure of Einstein.
Poincare, mainly a mathematician, was poorly known by the science amateurs.
His divulgation books are still around, which proves they are worth reading.
His serious works are not so well known out the professional scientists circle,
but, like good wines, they became better the more the time passes.
Chaos, topology, new methods in celestial mechanics, qualitative theory of differential equations,
just to name some topics, received from him decisive participations.
Today we can see that `Old Poincare` is more actual than never.
5 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A wonderful supplementary read. 2. Januar 2013
Von John L. Hank - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Even in isolation this book is an easy and inspirational read, but a fuller understanding of Henri will require other biographies as supplementary to this one.
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