Quaternions at Twilight: Mary Somerville's studies of mathematics in old age

Quaternions at Twilight: Mary Somerville's studies of mathematics in old age

Quaternions at Twilight: Mary Somerville's studies of mathematics in old age

event Saturday, September 23, 2023 schedule 11.00am - 12.00pm BST
Past event
Past event
event Saturday, September 23, 2023 schedule 11.00am - 12.00pm BST
  • Mary Somerville collection
In-person | Free
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Theme: 
Colleges, Museums and collections, Science and technology
Location: 
Stanley Library | View details

In 1873, Girton College was presented with the scientific library of the widely celebrated mathematician and scientist Mary Somerville (1780-1872). Within this collection is a copy of Peter Guthrie Tait's Elementary Treatise of Quaternions, which on its publication in 1867 provided an introduction to a groundbreaking area of mathematics that opened profound questions in algebra. Already ninety years old, when Somerville received this book from the then-president of the London Mathematical Society she studied it in great detail, taking extensive notes and attempting the examples at the end of each chapter. Using the Somerville collections at Girton and Somerville College (Girton's sister college in Oxford) this talk will explore both the mathematical work Mary Somerville produced in her twilight years, and how she cultivated a mathematical community for herself when living a somewhat isolated life in Naples, Italy. 

 

Please note that filming/photography will be talking place at this event for promotional and archival purposes. The photographs and recordings may be used for College publicity purposes, including the website. If you do not wish to be photographed/filmed, please inform the photographer or event organiser.

Speaker

Dr Brigitte Stenhouse

Booking information

Bookings for this event are handled externally. Please contact the event organiser if you have any questions.

Capacity: 
15

Booking for this event is now closed.

Location

Stanley Library
Girton College
Cambridge
CB3 0JG
United Kingdom

Contact

Tel: 
01223 764935
Location information: 

 

Location: