Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Johann Bernoulli (1667–1748)

Johann Bernoulli was the younger brother of Jacob. He was born in August 6, 1667 in Basel, the 10th child of a wealthy mercantile family. Like his brother, he made a false start in his career, studying medicine and taking a doctorate at Basel in 1694

His first publication of fermentation processes appeared in 1690 and he earned his doctorate in 1694 with a medical dissertation in the field of medicine with a thesis on muscle contraction. His doctoral dissertation on the movement of muscles was interesting in that it was evidently the first attempt to apply the methods of higher mathematics to physiology.

He became fascinated by calculus, quickly mastered it and applied it to many problems in geometry differential equations and mechanics.

In 1695, he was pointed Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Groningen in Holland, and on Jacob’s death he succeeded his brother in professorship at Basel.

He died on January 1, 1748 in Basel. Johann Bernoulli was a leading proponent of Leibnizian differential calculus and his genius in solving particular mathematical problems made him one of the top mathematician of his time.

Main discoveries in mathematics by Johann Bernoulli are: the exponential calculus, trigonometry treated as a branch of analysis, the study of geodesics, the celebrated solution of the brachistochrone, and introduction of the treatment of minima and a foundation for the calculus of variations and more important from the viewpoint of this essay, the enunciation of the principle of virtual work.
Johann Bernoulli (1667–1748)
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