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Encyclopedia > E. T. Whittaker

Edmund Taylor Whittaker (24 October 1873 - 24 March 1956) was an English mathematician, who contributed widely to applied mathematics, mathematical physics and the theory of special functions. He had a particular interest in numerical analysis, but also worked on celestial mechanics and the history of applied mathematics and the history of physics. He was born in Southport, in Merseyside. October 24 is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 68 days remaining. ... 1873 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calaber). ... March 24 is the 83rd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (84th in Leap years). ... 1956 (MCMLVI) was a leap year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the British Isles Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Total (2001 Census) – Density Ranked 1st UK... Applied mathematics is a branch of mathematics that concerns itself with the application of mathematical knowledge to other domains. ... Mathematical physics is the scientific discipline concerned with the application of mathematics to problems in physics and the development of mathematical methods suitable for such applications and for the formulation of physical theories1. ... In mathematics, there is a theory or theories of special functions, particular functions such as the trigonometric functions that have useful or attractive properties, and which occur in different applications often enough to warrant a name and attention of their own. ... Numerical analysis is the study of algorithms for the problems of continuous mathematics (as distinguished from discrete mathematics) using basic arithmetical operations like addition. ... Celestial mechanics is a division of astronomy dealing with the motions and gravitational effects of celestial objects. ... The growth of physics has brought not only fundamental changes in ideas about the material world, mathematics and philosophy, but also, through technology, a transformation of society. ... Map sources for Southport at grid reference SD3317 Southport is a seaside town on the north-west coast of England, to the north of Liverpool and the south of Preston. ... Merseyside is a metropolitan county, located in the North West of England. ...

Contents


Whittaker & Watson

He is remembered as the author of A Course of Modern Analysis (1902), which in its 1915 second edition in collaboration with George Neville Watson became Whittaker and Watson, one of the handful of mathematics texts of its era to become indispensable. (George) Neville Watson (31 January 1886 - 2 February 1965) was an English mathematician, a noted master in the application of complex analysis to the theory of special functions. ... Whittaker and Watson is the informal name of a book formally entitled A Course of Modern Analysis, written by E. T. Whittaker and G. N. Watson, first published by Cambridge University Press in 1902. ...


Special functions

He is the eponym of the Whittaker function or Whittaker integral, in the theory of confluent hypergeometric functions. This makes him also the eponym of the Whittaker model in the local theory of automorphic representations. He published also on algebraic functions and automorphic functions. He gave expressions for the Bessel functions as integrals involving Legendre functions. An eponym is a person, whether real or fictitious, whose name has (or is thought to have) given rise to the name of a particular place, tribe, discovery, or other item. ... In mathematics, the confluent hypergeometric function is formed from hypergeometric series. ... In mathematics, the confluent hypergeometric function is formed from hypergeometric series. ... In mathematics, the general notion of automorphic form is the extension to analytic functions, perhaps of several complex variables, of the theory of modular forms. ... In mathematics, an algebraic function of indeterminates X1, X2, ..., Xn, is a function F that satisfies some non-trivial equation P(F, X1, X2, ..., Xn) = 0, with P a polynomial in n + 1 variables over a given field K. That is, F is an implicit function that solves an algebraic... In mathematics, the general notion of automorphic form is the extension to analytic functions, perhaps of several complex variables, of the theory of modular forms. ... An expression in the very basic sense is the noun form of the verb express. ... In mathematics, Bessel functions, first defined by the Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli and named after Friedrich Bessel, are canonical solutions y(x) of Bessels differential equation: for an arbitrary real number α (the order). ... In calculus, the integral of a function is a generalization of area, mass, volume, sum, and total. ... Note: The term Legendre polynomials is sometimes used (wrongly) to indicate the associated Legendre polynomials. ...


Partial differential equations

In the theory of partial differential equations, Whittaker developed a general solution of the Laplace equation in three dimensions and the solution of the wave equation. He developed the electrical potential field as a bi-directional flow of energy (sometimes referred to as alternating currents). Whittaker's pair of papers in 1903 and 1904 indicated that any potential can be analyzed by a Fourier-like series of waves, such as a planet's gravitational field point-charge. The superpositions of inward and outward wave pairs produce the "static" fields (or scalar potential). These were harmonically-related. By this conception, the structure of electric potential is created from two opposite, though balanced, parts. Whittaker suggested that gravity possessed a wavelike "undulatory" character. In mathematics, a partial differential equation (PDE) is an equation relating the partial derivatives of an unknown function of several variables. ... Laplaces equation is a partial differential equation named after its discoverer Pierre-Simon Laplace. ... 2-dimensional renderings (ie. ... The wave equation is an important partial differential equation which generally describes all kinds of waves, such as sound waves, light waves and water waves. ... The article on electrical energy is located elsewhere. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Scalar potential. ... The term direction can be applied to various topics. ... city lights viewed in a motion blurred exposure. ... 1903 (MCMIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1904 (MCMIV) is a leap year starting on a Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Scalar potential. ... Fourier (SAMPA: [fVri:eI]) can mean: Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, a French mathematician and physicist. ... A planet is generally considered to be a relatively large mass of accreted matter in orbit around a star that is not a star itself. ... The gravitational field is a field that causes bodies with mass to attract each other. ... A telluric current (sometimes referred to as Magnetotelluric) is a extremely low frequency electrical current that occurs naturally over large underground areas at or near the surface of the Earth. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Potential. ... In acoustics and telecommunication, the harmonic of a wave is a component frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency. ... Electric potential is the potential energy per unit charge associated with a static (time-invariant) electric field, also called the electrostatic potential, typically measured in volts. ... It has been suggested that gravitation be merged into this article or section. ... Oscillation is the periodic variation, typically in time, of some measure as seen, for example, in a swinging pendulum. ...


Applied mathematics and mathematical physics

He wrote The Calculus of Observations: a treatise on numerical mathematics (1924) and Treatise on the Analytical Dynamics of Particles and Rigid Bodies: With an Introduction to the Problem of Three Bodies (1937). He was the editor of Eddington's Fundamental Theory (1946), and wrote From Euclid to Eddington, A Study of Conceptions of the External World (1949), including a first scholarly account of some of the research between 1900 to 1925. He wrote also A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity(1953) in two volumes. Eddington is the name of several places United States of America Eddington, Maine Eddington, Pennsylvania United Kingdom Eddington, Berkshire Eddington, Kent Edington, Somerset Edington, Wiltshire Also see: Arthur Eddington, an important astrophysicist This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same... 1900 (MCM) is a common year starting on Monday. ... 1925 (MCMXXV) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... The aether (also spelled ether) is a substance concept, historically used in science and philosophy. ...


Life

He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Trinity College, Cambridge from 1892. He graduated as Second Wrangler in the examination in 1895. In 1896, Whittaker was elected as a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Between 1906 and 1911 he was the Royal Astronomer of Ireland at Dunsink Observatory and was also Andrew's Professor of Astronomy at Trinity College Dublin where he taught mathematical physics. These positions were previously held by William Rowan Hamilton. In Dublin Eamon de Valera, future revolutionary independence leader, Taoiseach, FRS, and President of Ireland attended his seminars and later Whittaker was to advise de Valera when the latter set up the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies. Whittaker became professor at Edinburgh University in 1911, where he served out his academic career. It has been suggested that Owl%27s_nest be merged into this article or section. ... Full name The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity Motto Virtus vera nobilitas Virtue is true Nobility Named after The Holy Trinity Previous names Kings Hall and Michaelhouse (until merged in 1546) Established 1546 Sister College(s) Christ Church Master The Lord Rees of Ludlow Location Trinity Street... 1892 (MDCCCXCII) was a leap year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... At the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, a wrangler is a student who has completed the third year (called Part II) of the Mathematical Tripos with first-class honours. ... 1895 (MDCCCXCV) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1896 (MDCCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... 1906 (MCMVI) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1911 (MCMXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar). ... The Dunsink Observatory is an astronomical observatory established in approximately 1785 near the city of Dublin, Ireland. ... The College of the Holy and Undivided Trinity of Queen Elizabeth near Dublin or more commonly Trinity College, Dublin (TCD) was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth I, is the only constituent college of the University of Dublin, Irelands oldest university. ... William Rowan Hamilton Sir William Rowan Hamilton (August 4, 1805 – September 2, 1865) was an Irish mathematician, physicist, and astronomer who made important contributions to the development of optics, dynamics, and algebra. ... Eamon de Valera (born Edward George de Valera, sometimes Gaelicised Éamon de Bhailéara; October 14, 1882 – August 29, 1975), was an Irish politician, best known as a leader of Irelands struggle for independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in the early 20th Century, and... The Taoiseach (plural: Taoisigh) or, more formally, An Taoiseach, is the head of government of the Republic of Ireland and the leader of the Irish cabinet. ... The President of Ireland (Irish: Uachtarán na hÉireann) is the head of state of the Republic of Ireland. ... The Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) (Institiúid Ard-Léinn Bhaile Átha Cliath in Irish) Dublin, Ireland was established in 1940 by the Taoiseach of the time, Eamon de Valera under the Institute For Advanced Studies Act, 1940. ... The University of Edinburgh was founded in 1583 as a renowned centre for teaching in Edinburgh, Scotland. ...


Whittaker was a Christian and became a convert to the Roman Catholic Church (1930). Whittaker was, in 1954, selected by the scientific Fellows of the Society to receive the Copley Medal award, the highest award granted by the Royal Society of London. Whittaker died in Edinburgh, Scotland. As a noun, Christian is an appellation and moniker deriving from the appellation Christ, which many people associate exclusively with Jesus of Nazareth. ... The Roman Catholic Church (also known as the Catholic Church) is that Christian Church which is led by the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, currently Pope Benedict XVI. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that it is the one holy catholic and apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ. ... 1930 (MCMXXX) is a common year starting on Wednesday. ... 1954 (MCMLIV) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Copley Medal is a scientific award for work in any field of science, the highest award granted by the Royal Society of London. ... ...


The mathematician John Macnaughten Whittaker (1905-1984) was his son.


See also: Magnetogravity A Magnetogravity wave is a type of plasma wave. ...


Publications

  • Whittaker, Edmund Taylor, "On the partial differential equations of mathematical physics". Math. Ann., Vol. 57, 1903, p.333 - 355.
  • Whittaker, Edmund Taylor, "On an expression of the electromagnetic field due to electrons by means of two scalar potential functions". Proc. Lond. Math. Soc. Series 2, Vol. 1, 1904, p. 367 - 372.
  • Whittaker, Edmund, "A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity, from the Age of Descartes to the Close of the Nineteenth Century". 1953. ISBN 0486261263
  • Whittaker, Edmund Taylor, "On the quantum mechanism in the atom". Proc. R. Soc. Edinb., Vol. 42, 1922, p.129 - 146
  • Whittaker, Edmund, "The Calculus of Observations: a treatise on numerical mathematics". 1924.
  • Whittaker, Edmund, "Space and Spirit. Theories of the Universe and the Arguments for the Existence of God". 1946.
  • Whittaker, Edmund, "The beginning and End of the World" Oxford 1942.
  • Whittaker, Edmund, "Eddington’s Principle in the philosophy of Science" Cambridge 1951.
  • Whittaker, Edmund, "From Euclid to Eddington: A Study of Conceptions of the External World" Dover 1958.

1953 (MCMLIII) is a common year starting on Thursday. ... 1924 (MCMXXIV) was a leap year starting on Tuesday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... This article is about the year. ... 1951 (MCMLI) was a common year starting on Monday; see its calendar. ... 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

References

  • Aitken, A. C., "The contributions of E T Whittaker to algebra and numerical analysis". Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathical Society, 1958.
  • Dingle, H., "Edmund T Whittaker, mathematician and historian". Science, 1956.
  • Temple, G. F. J., "Edmund Taylor Whittaker". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society of London, 1956.
  • "Whittaker Memorial Volume". Proceedings of the Edinburgh Mathical Society, 1958.
  • Bearden, T. E., "Gravitobiology : Conception of Edmund Whittaker (papers of 1903-1904)". Tesla Book Co., Chula Vista, CA, USA.

External links

  • John J. O'Connor and Edmund F. Robertson. E. T. Whittaker at the MacTutor archive.

 
 

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