Jacob (Jacques) Bernoulli

Although Jacob and Johann Bernoulli both worked on similar problems their relationship was soon to change from one of

Jacob (Jacques) Bernoulli



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work of the greatest significance in the theory of probability. In the book Bernoulli reviewed work of others on probability, in particular work by van Schooten, Leibniz, and Prestet. The Bernoulli numbers appear in the book in a discussion of the exponential series. Many examples are given on how much one would expect to win playing various game of chance. There are interesting thoughts on what probability really is:-

... probability as a measurable degree of certainty; necessity and chance; moral versus mathematical expectation; a priori an a posteriori probability; expectation of winning when players are divided according to dexterity; regard of all available arguments, their valuation, and their calculable evaluation; law of large numbers ...

In Hofmann sums up Jacob Bernoulli's contributions as follows:-

Bernoulli greatly advanced algebra, the infinitesimal calculus, the calculus of variations, mechanics, the theory of series, and the theory of probability. He was self-willed, obstinate, aggressive, vindictive, beset by feelings of inferiority, and yet firmly convinced of his own abilities. With these characteristics, he necessarily had to collide with his similarly disposed brother. He nevertheless exerted the most lasting influence on the latter.

Bernoulli was one of the most significant promoters of the formal methods of higher analysis. Astuteness and elegance are seldom found in his method of presentation and expression, but there is a maximum of integrity.

Jacob Bernoulli continued to hold the chair of mathematics at Basel until his death in 1705 when the chair was filled by his brother Johann. Jacob had always found the properties of the logarithmic spiral to be almost magical and he had requested that it be carved on his tombstone with the Latin inscription Eadem Mutata Resurgo meaning "I shall arise the same though changed".

J J O'Connor and E F Robertson

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Для подготовки данной работы были использованы материалы с сайта http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/

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