Mathematicians Of The Day

23rd March

On this day in 1881, J J Sylvester wrote to Arthur Cayley to announce,
I believe that I have proved Gordan's Theorem, and can assign a superior limit to the number of fundamental invariants.
His proof was founded on the prospect that a certain sequence increased without bound. By October he knew that it did not.

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Quotation of the day

From Pierre-Simon Laplace
What we know is not much. What we do not know is immense.
(Allegedly his last words.)
Quoted in A De Morgan Budget of Paradoxes.