Speaker: Professor Michel Waldschmidt
Date: Jan 05, 2008
Venue: Department Committee Room
Time: 5:00 to 6:00 pm
Title: Early history of irrational and transcendental numbers
The transcendence proofs for constants of analysis are essentially all based on the seminal work by Ch. Hermite: his proof of the transcendence of the number e in 1873 is the prototype of the methods which have been subsequently developed. We first show how the founding paper by Hermite was influenced by earlier authors (Lambert, Euler, Fourier, Liouville). Next, we explain how his arguments have been expanded in several directions: Padé Approximant, interpolation series, auxiliary functions.
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