Vita Mathematica

A Comet of the Enlightenment

Anders Johan Lexell's Life and Discoveries

Authors: Sten, Johan

  • The first-ever full-length biography of the mathematician and astronomer Anders Johan Lexell (1740–1784)
  • Sheds new light on the collaborators of Leonhard Euler
  • Interesting study of a scientist's grand tour through enlightened Europe
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-00618-5
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Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-00617-8
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
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  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm ET) to place your order.
  • Due: October 7, 2016
  • ISBN 978-3-319-34532-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Rent the ebook  
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About this book

The Finnish mathematician and astronomer Anders Johan Lexell (1740–1784) was a long-time close collaborator as well as the academic successor of Leonhard Euler at the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg. Lexell was initially invited by Euler from his native town of Abo (Turku) in Finland to Saint Petersburg to assist in the mathematical processing of the astronomical data of the forthcoming transit of Venus of 1769. A few years later he became an ordinary member of the Academy. This is the first-ever full-length biography devoted to Lexell and his prolific scientific output. His rich correspondence especially from his grand tour to Germany, France and England reveals him as a lucid observer of the intellectual landscape of enlightened Europe. In the skies, a comet, a minor planet and a crater on the Moon named after Lexell also perpetuate his memory.

Reviews

“It is an interesting read about an exciting man in the middle of several eighteenth-century scientific networks. Using extensive source material, Stén certainly manages to show that Lexell is a man worth studying and someone who was an important part of the St. Petersburg academy of the eighteenth century. He also provides a wealth of quotations and references that will definitely be of use to historians interested in eighteenth-century astronomy and mathematics.” (Jacob Orrje, Isis, Vol. 107 (1), March, 2016)

“A Comet of the Enlightenment, authored by Johan C.-E. Stén, is the first full biography of Anders Johan Lexell (1740–1784) … Stén does a masterful job of showing us not only Lexell the person, but also how Lexell’s professional life and choices were influenced by the political and academic cultures of his day. … Readers of A Comet of the Enlightenment will learn a lot about Lexell and even more about the enlightened culture in which he lived.” (Cindia Davis Stewart, MAA Reviews, October, 2014)

“The book is much more than a biography because it includes the broad cultural surrounding. … The book includes many beautiful pictures, some of them in colours. … At the end, the author gives a list of Lexell’s publications, containing 107 entries. This biography is to be highly recommended not only to historians, but as well to historians of astronomy and to historians of mathematics.” (Karin Reich, zbMATH, Vol. 1296, 2014)


Table of contents (13 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $99.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-00618-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $129.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-00617-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $129.00
price for USA
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at 1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (Weekdays 8:30am – 5:30pm ET) to place your order.
  • Due: October 7, 2016
  • ISBN 978-3-319-34532-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Rent the ebook  
  • Rental duration: 1 or 6 month
  • low-cost access
  • online reader with highlighting and note-making option
  • can be used across all devices
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
A Comet of the Enlightenment
Book Subtitle
Anders Johan Lexell's Life and Discoveries
Authors
Series Title
Vita Mathematica
Series Volume
17
Copyright
2014
Publisher
Birkhäuser Basel
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-00618-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-00618-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-00617-8
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-34532-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 300
Number of Illustrations and Tables
30 b/w illustrations, 16 illustrations in colour
Topics