Mathematicians Of The Day

12th June

On this day in 1689. Isaac Newton first met Christiaan Huygens at a Royal Society meeting in London. The two had corresponded through Oldenburg sixteen years earlier, about optics.

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Quotation of the day

From Vladimir Arnold
All mathematics is divided into three parts:
cryptography (paid for by CIA, KGB and the like)
hydrodynamics (supported by manufacturers of atomic submarines)
celestial mechanics (financed by military and other institutions dealing with missiles, such as NASA).

Cryptography has generated number theory, algebraic geometry over finite fields, algebra, combinatorics and computers.

Hydrodynamics procreated complex analysis, partial differential equations, Lie groups and algebra theory, cohomology theory and scientific computing.

Celestial mechanics is the origin of dynamical systems, linear algebra, topology, variational calculus and symplectic geometry.

The existence of mysterious relations between all these different domains is the most striking and delightful feature of mathematics (having no rational explanation).

Polymathematics: Is mathematics a single science or a set of arts? in Mathematics: Frontiers and Perspectives (ed. V Arnold, M Atiyah, P Lax and B Mazur), American Math. Soc., 1999, pp. 403-416.