preview

Joseph-Louis Lagrange: Mathematics And Contribution To Mathematics

Satisfactory Essays
Joseph-Louis Lagrange was a mathematician and astronomer from the eighteenth century. Lagrange was not very interested in mathematics in his early life. It was not until he was a teenager that he became involved with mathematical study. He became curious about mathematics when he read a copy of Edmond Halley's 1693 work on the use of algebra in optics. Joseph-Louis Lagrange was one of the most renowned mathematicians in the eighteenth century. He contributed greatly to the progression of mathematics.
Joseph-Louis Lagrange was born in Turin, Italy on January 25, 1736 to Giuseppe Francesco Lodovico Lagrangia and Teresa Grosso. He was the eldest of eleven children, but one of only two to live to adulthood. Lagrange studied at the college of Turin. At first, his favorite subject was classical Latin. He later developed an interest in mathematics when he was around seventeen. Without the aid of the top mathematics of his time, Lagrange taught himself.
Lagrange published his first mathematical work on July 23, 1754. The paper described an analogy between the binomial theorem and the successive derivatives of the product of functions (O'Connor). After this, Lagrange began working on the tautochrone, the curve on which a weighted particle will always arrive at a fixed point in the same time independent of its initial position (O'Connor). He discovered a method of maximizing and minimizing functionals in a way similar to finding extrema of functions (Mathematical Thought). These discoveries would be major contributions to the new subject of the calculus of variations. This subject was beginning to be studied by mathematicians, but it was not called 'calculus of variations' until Leonhard Euler gave it the name. He se...

... middle of paper ...

...ry mathematics (O'Connor).
Near the end of his life, he published two more volumes of calculus lectures, one in 1797 and the other in 1800. Lagrange was named to the Legion of Honor and Count of the Empire in 1808 by Napoleon (Seikali). He received the Grand Croix of the Ordre Imperial de la Renuion award in April 3, 1813. (O'Connor). He died in Paris on April 10, 1813.
Joseph-Louis Lagrange was considered one of the greatest mathematicians of his time. By 1761, he was considered and described as the foremost mathematician living (Ball). He helped to advance a variety of branches of mathematics. He contributed to the fields of differential equations, number theory, and the calculus of variations. He also applied problems in dynamics, mechanics, astronomy, and sound. Lagrange was a very accomplished mathematicians, and he greatly influenced mathematics.
Get Access