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The Collected Scientific Papers of the Mathematicians and Physicists of the Bernoulli Family

General Editor:



Prof. Dr. Patricia Radelet-de Grave

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Among the great editions of scientific works of the 17th and 18th centuries, the Bernoulli Edition occupies a special position; unlike, for example, the Leibniz and the Euler Edition, it is dedicated not to a single author, but to a group of nine closely related authors.
The Bernoulli Edition presents a critical, fully annotated edition of the collected works and correspondence of these authors. It includes their scientific publications, the most important of those texts which exist only in manuscript form, and an extensive selection of their correspondence, for the most part hitherto unpublished.
The Bernoulli Edition establishes an authoritative version of the source texts, starting from either the original publications or the manuscripts. The commentaries facilitate access to the historical texts for the modern reader by providing interpretative introductions, explanatory notes and indexes. All texts are printed in the original language (mainly Latin and French); the commentaries are mostly in English (in the past, some volumes have been annotated in French, German or Italian). Copious illustrations present figures from original printings as well as samples from holographs.
The Bernoulli Edition is divided into two sections, one for the Collected Works and one for the Correspondence. Each section is composed of several series, each of these being dedicated to one or, in some cases, to two of the nine authors.

Jacob Bernoulli 

Jacob I Bernoulli
Jacob studied theology at Basel and at the same time taught himself mathematics. After a short period as a private tutor in Geneva and France, he travelled through the Netherlands, England and Germany. During this journey he became acquainted with the contemporary mathematics and physics of Descartes, Huygens, Wallis and Barrow. In 1687 Jacob was appointed to the chair of mathematics at the University of Basel. In the following years he rediscovered, together with his brother Johann, the secrets of Leibniz's calculus and began a correspondence with Leibniz. Jacob published his discoveries in more than sixty papers in the scientific journals of his time. For himself, he recorded his thoughts in a scientific diary (Meditationes), which is an outstanding testimony to his mathematical genius. Jacob published no books; his Ars Conjectandi remained unfinished and did not appear until eight years after his death. Recognized as one of the greatest mathematicians of his time, Jacob died in Basel in 1705.
"The devices of this calculus are yet known to few people, and I do not know anybody who has understood my meaning better than this famous man." Leibniz on Jacob Bernoulli, 1690

Johann I Bernoulli 

Johann I Bernoulli
Johann studied medicine at Basel and was introduced to mathematics by his elder brother Jacob. Both brothers successfully taught themselves Leibniz's calculus and forged it into a powerful tool for solving several of the most difficult mathematical problems of their time. As a result of his private lectures with Johann, the Marquis de l'Hôpital was encouraged to write the first textbook on calculus, the Analyse des infiniment petits (1696). In 1695, Johann Bernoulli was appointed to the chair of mathematics at Groningen; when his brother Jacob died in 1705, Johann became his successor at Basel. From there he disseminated the methods and results of his research through teaching, publishing and corresponding with mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe. Among his disciples he could count, in addition to three of his sons, Maupertuis, Cramer, Clairaut and, most notably, Euler. Johann Bernoulli was also involved in most of the public scientific controversies of the time; among his adversar ies we find his brother Jacob and his son Daniel, the English school of Newton's followers as well as some of Johann's own former disciples. Acknowledged after the deaths of Leibniz and Newton as the foremost mathematician of his time, Johann Bernoulli died in Basel in 1748.

Daniel Bernoulli 

Daniel Bernoulli
Daniel, the second son of Johann I Bernoulli, was born in Groningen. He studied medicine at Basel, Heidelberg and Strasbourg. Continuing his education in Venice, he became increasingly involved in mathematics. In 1725, Daniel was appointed to the Imperial Academy of St. Petersburg, together with his brother Nicolaus II. There he turned his attention to mechanics and wrote the first draft of his Hydrodynamica; the final version, his most important single work, was to be published in Strasbourg in 1738. In 1733, Daniel returned to Basel, at first to the chair of anatomy and botanics; in 1743 he became professor of medicine, and in 1750 he was finally appointed to the chair of physics. In more than seventy papers published in various journals, Daniel treated problems in physics and mathematics, some of them involving applications of probability theory. He was awarded the prize of the Paris Académie des sciences ten times. Daniel Bernoulli died in Basel in 1782.
"Nobody found more expedients in analysis for submitting to calculation all circumstances of a phenomenon; nobody knew better how to arrange an experiment, in order to confirm theoretical results or to give a basis for calculation. Everywhere he is a philosopher and a physicist as well as a mathematician." Condorcet on Daniel Bernoulli, 1782

Collaborators and Addresses 

Unité de Recherches Louvain:
(Collected Works Series)
Forschungsstelle Basel:
(Correspondence Series)
Prof. Dr. Patricia Radelet-de Grave
Institut de Physique Théorique
2, chemin du Cyclotron
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Tel.++32 /10 /47 32 80
Fax++32 /10 /47 24 14
e-mail: patricia.radelet@uclouvain.be
Dr. Fritz Nagel
Universitätsbibliothek
Schönbeinstr. 18/20
CH-4056 Basel
Tel. ++41 / 61 / 267 31 41
Fax ++41 / 61 / 267 31 03
e-mail: Fritz.Nagel@unibas.ch
Secretary:
Dr. Bruna Gaino
Institut de Physique théorique
2, chemin du Cyclotron
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Belgique
Tel. ++32 10 47 32 86
Fax ++32 10 47 24 14
e-mail: bruna.gaino@uclouvain.be
or:
Bernoulli Edition
Universitätsbibliothek
Schönbeinstr. 18/20
CH-4056 Basel
Tel. ++41 / 61 / 267 31 41
Fax ++41 / 61 / 267 31 03
e-mail: bernoulli-edition@unibas.ch
URL: www.ub.unibas.ch/spez/bernoull.htm
Scientific Contributors and Editors:
E. Benvenuto †, Genova
M. Blay, Paris
U. Bottazzini, Milano
L. Bouckaert †, Leuven
P. Costabel †, Paris
F. Cerulus, Leuven
A. de Baenst-Vandenbroucke, Namur
J. Dhombres, Nantes
A. Englebert, Bruxelles
J. O. Fleckenstein †, Basel
E. Giusti, Firenze
H. H. Goldstine, Philadelphia
H.-J. Heß, Hannover
M. Howald-Haller, Basel
A. Lederer †, Louvain
G. Maltese, Roma
M. Mattmüller, Basel
G. K. Mikhailov, Moskva
F. Nagel, Basel
D. Ó Mathúna, Dublin
J. Peiffer, Paris
J. L. Pietenpol, Raleigh
P. Radelet-de Grave, Louvain-la-Neuve
C. S. Roero, Torino
D. Speiser, Basel
O. Spiess †, Basel
H. Straub †, Basel
C. Truesdell †, Baltimore
B. L.van der Waerden †, Zürich
T. Viola †, Torino
P. Villaggio, Pisa
A. Weil †, Princeton
V. Zimmermann, Göttingen

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