August Mobius was one of the 19th century's most influential mathematicians and astronomers. Written by six distinguished contributors, this book explores the work of Mobius and his brilliant German contemporaries. The work emphasizes those achievements which in many ways can be seen to reflect the exciting advances taking place at the time throughout the entire scientific world. The background to Mobius's life and labors is provided by John Fauvel. Gert Schubring examines the mathematical community in 19th-century Germany, while Allan Chapman describes the revolution in astronomy that took place during the period. Jeremy Gray analyzes Mobius's contribution to geometrical mechanics and Norman Biggs traces his role in the development of topological ideas. Finally, Ian Stewart explores the legacy Mobius left to mathematics in our own century. This stimulating volume will appeal to all scientists in the fields that Mobius helped advance--physics, mathematics, and astronomy--as well as general readers interested in the history of science.
'The book is written for a quite general readership ... Generously priced, it is unusually readable for books of its kind - and also viewable, being graced with many excellent portraits, scenes, and mathematical illustrations.'
Times Higher Education Supplement
'...the book looks good: it sports an attractive multicoloured jacket, and is well illustrated ... the book is a useful history of some aspects of German astronomy and mathematics in the nineteenth century, especially as seen in relation to modern advances.
Desmond King-Hele, formerly deputy chief scientific officer at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough. Nature, Volume 363.
'In this richly illustrated, and accessible book, leading scholars assess the contribution of Möbius and others of his time to the practice of mathematics and astronomy today.'
L'Enseignement Mathématique, 3-4 1993
'The book is an excellent combination of various, crucial aspects. The presentation of the book is overwhelming. The text is accompanied by many pictures of high and sometimes even singular quality and origin.'
`...l'ouvrage constitue un ensemble equilibre et agreable a lire, soigne dans la forme autant que dans le contenu.'
La Recherche, No. 271, Decembre 1994
`the book is very attractively designed, with many pictures, and written in a lively style, suitable for mathematicians, students and an interested general readership, as well.'
Monatsheffe fur Mathematik, vol.121, no.1-2, 1996.
1: John Fauvel: A Saxon mathematician
2: Gert Schubring: The German mathematical community
3: Allan Chapman: The astronomical revolution
4: Jeremy Gray: Möbius's geometrical mechanics
5: Norman Biggs: The development of topology
6: Ian Stewart: Möbius's modern legacy
Notes on contributors