Augustin Louis Cauchy

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Augustin Louis Cauchy

Birthplace: Paris, France
Death: Died in Sceaux, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Louis François CAUCHY and Marie Madeleine DESESTRE
Husband of Aloïse Marguerite Madeleine DE BURE
Father of Alicia Marie Louise Françoise CAUCHY and Mathilde Marie CAUCHY
Brother of Alexandre Laurent CAUCHY; Marie Adélaïde CAUCHY; Marie Thérèse CAUCHY; Eugène François CAUCHY and Pierre Amédée CAUCHY

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About Augustin Louis Cauchy

Wikipedia Biographical Summary

"...Baron Augustin-Louis Cauchy (21 August 1789 – 23 May 1857; was a French mathematician who was an early pioneer of analysis. He started the project of formulating and proving the theorems of infinitesimal calculus in a rigorous manner, rejecting the heuristic principle of the generality of algebra exploited by earlier authors. He defined continuity in terms of infinitesimals and gave several important theorems in complex analysis and initiated the study of permutation groups in abstract algebra. A profound mathematician, Cauchy exercised a great influence over his contemporaries and successors. His writings cover the entire range of mathematics and mathematical physics..."

"...Cauchy's father (Louis François Cauchy) was a high official in the Parisian Police of the New Régime. He lost his position because of the French Revolution..."

"...When Napoleon Bonaparte came to power (1799), Louis-François Cauchy was further promoted, and became Secretary-General of the Senate..."

"...Augustin-Louis was enrolled in the École Centrale du Panthéon, the best secondary school of Paris at that time, in the fall of 1802..."

"...After finishing school in 1810, Cauchy accepted a job as a junior engineer in Cherbourg, where Napoleon intended to build a naval base..."

"...In September 1812, now 23 years old, after becoming ill from overwork, Cauchy returned to Paris. Another reason for his return to the capital was that he was losing his interest in his engineering job, being more and more attracted to abstract beauty of mathematics..."

"...When Cauchy was 28 years old, he was still living with his parents. His father found it high time for his son to marry; he found him a suitable bride, Aloïse de Bure, five years his junior. She was a close relative of the publisher who published most of Cauchy's works. They were married on April 4, 1818, with great Roman Catholic pomp and ceremony, in the Church of Saint-Sulpice. In 1819 the couple's first daughter, Marie Françoise Alicia, was born, and in 1823 the second and last daughter, Marie Mathilde. Cauchy had two brothers: Alexandre Laurent Cauchy, who became a president of a division of the court of appeal in 1847, and a judge of the court of cassation in 1849; and Eugène François Cauchy, a publicist who also wrote several mathematical works..."

"...In July 1830 France underwent another revolution. Charles X fled the country, and was succeeded by the non-Bourbon king Louis-Philippe (of the House of Orléans). Riots, in which uniformed students of the École Polytechnique took an active part, raged close to Cauchy's home in Paris.

These events marked a turning point in Cauchy's life, and a break in his mathematical productivity. Cauchy, shaken by the fall of the government, and moved by a deep hatred of the liberals who were taking power, left Paris to go abroad, leaving his family behind..."

"...He taught in Turin during 1832-1833. In 1831, he had been elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences..."

"...In August 1833 Cauchy left Turin for Prague, to become the science tutor of the thirteen-year-old Duke of Bordeaux Henri d'Artois (1820–1883), the exiled Crown Prince and grandson of Charles X..."

".... The only good that came out of this episode was Cauchy's promotion to Baron, a title that Cauchy set great store by. In 1834, his wife and two daughters moved to Prague, and Cauchy was finally reunited with his family, after four years of exile..."

"...Cauchy returned to Paris and his position at the Academy of Sciences late in 1838. He could not regain his teaching positions, because he still refused to swear an oath of allegiance..."


"...The genius of Cauchy was illustrated in his simple solution of the problem of Apollonius—describing a circle touching three given circles—which he discovered in 1805, his generalization of Euler's formula on polyhedra in 1811, and in several other elegant problems. More important is his memoir on wave propagation, which obtained the Grand Prix of the French Academy of Sciences in 1816. Cauchy's writings covered notable topics including: the theory of series, where he developed the notion of convergence and discovered many of the basic formulas for q-series. The theory of numbers and complex quantities; he was the first to define complex numbers as pairs of real numbers. The theory of groups and substitutions; and the theory of functions, differential equations, and determinants..."

"...In the theory of light he worked on Fresnel's wave theory and on the dispersion and polarization of light. He also contributed significant research in mechanics, substituting the notion of the continuity of geometrical displacements for the principle of the continuity of matter..."

"...Cauchy is most famous for his single-handed development of complex function theory..."

"...In addition to his work on complex functions, Cauchy was the first to stress the importance of rigor in analysis; he clarified the principles of the calculus by developing them with the aid of infinitesimals, limits, and continuity..."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'Augustin-Louis Cauchy', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 July 2011, 13:09 UTC, <> [accessed 9 August 2011]

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