Department of Mathematics

Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

Popular Lecture Series in Mathematics

Mathematics Association of IIT Bombay and Bombay Mathematical Colloquium

Speaker: Prof. R. Sridharan
Affiliation:Chennai Mathematical Institute, Chennai
Title: Lemniscate
Date: Wednesday, July 30, 2003
Time: 5.05 p.m.- 6.35 p.m.
Venue: MB-1, Ground floor, Main Building, IIT Bombay

At the time of the Bernoullis it was very natural to define curves through differential equations.The elastic (transcendental) curve was one such. The arc length of this curve is an elliptic integral which turns out to be the arc length of the algebraic curve, lemniscate. This curve had been a favourite of several mathematicians like Fagnano (who showed that the bisection of the arc length of this curve can be achieved by ruler and compass, Euler who laid the foundation of the theory of elliptic integrals and, who in particular proved his famous addition theorem, to Gauss, that prince among mathematicians who studied among many other things the notion of the arithmetic-geometric mean and computing it through elliptic integrals, solved the division problem of the arc length the lemniscate curve (keeping it all to himself,) and the great Abel who in his very shortlife span accomplished so many remarkable things which include the solution of the division problem of the arc length of the lemniscate, independently of Gauss.
About the speaker
Professor Sridharn joined TIFR in 1955. He obtained his Ph.D. from Columbia under the guidance of Professor Samuel Eilenberg. Presently he is working at Chennai Mathematical Institute, Chennai. On a person of Sridharan's status, one who has outgrown all the awards and accolades bestowed on him, it may not be appropriate to list his achievements here. Sufficient to say that he is the GURU of modern Indian Algebra.