Joseph Liouville

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Liouville, Joseph


Born Mar. 24, 1809, in St. Orner; died Sept. 8, 1882, in Paris. French mathematician. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1839).

Liouville was a professor at the Ecole Polytechnique (from 1833) and the Collège de France (from 1839). He constructed the theory of elliptic functions, which he viewed as doubly periodic functions of a complex variable. He also studied the boundary-value problem for second-order linear differential equations (the Sturm-Liouville problem). Liouville proved the existence of transcendental numbers and gave an actual construction of such numbers. He established a fundamental theorem in mechanics (Liouville’s theorem) on the integration of the canonical equations of dynamics.


“Discours, prononcés aux funérailles de M. Liouville.” Comptes rendus hébdomadaires des séances de l’Académie des Sciences de Paris, 1882, vol. 95, pp. 467–71.
Synge, J. L. Classical Dynamics. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.)
References in periodicals archive ?
French mathematician Joseph Liouville (1809-82) introduced identities as a powerful new method in elementary number theory, but his system is little taught, if at all, in modern number theory.