Augustin Louis Cauchy Biography

Augustin Louis Cauchy was a French mathematician. Read on to know more about Augustin Cauchy ’s profile, childhood, life and timeline in this biography.

Augustin Louis Cauchy

Quick Facts

Gender: Male
Birthday: 21 August 1789
Died: 23 May 1857
Nationality: French
Sun Sign: Leo
Father: Louis François Cauchy
Education: École des Ponts ParisTech, Lycée Henri-IV, École Polytechnique
Awards: Pour le Mérite for Sciences and Arts, Knight of the Legion of Honour, Grand prix des sciences mathématiques, Concours général, Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Foreign Member of the Royal Society

Augustin- Louis Cauchy was a French mathematician famous for the countless contributions he made to the domain of mathematics. He wrote many books that cover a wide area covering mathematics and mathematical physics. As a person he was a god-fearing, earnest Roman Catholic and a strict Bourbon royalist. His contributions to the wave theory, mechanics and elasticity took his name to heights.

Early Life & Career

Augustin Cauchy was born in Paris, on 21 August 1789 as son to Louis Francois Cauchy, a senior French government officer and Marie-madeleine Desestre. Couchy had two brothers – Alexandre Laurent Cauchy and Eugene Francois Cauchy. Cauchy’s father lost his job due to French revolution and the family moved to Arcueil and Cauchy received his first education there. However, his family returned to Paris after the political atmosphere calmed down. Cauchy was sent to the best school of Paris, the École Centrale du Panthéon. Cauchy chose to opt for engineering and qualified the entrance examination with second rank. He finished his engineering course from Ecole Polytechnique in 1807. He then attended École des Ponts et Chaussées (School for Bridges and Roads) and completed civil engineering course.
Cauchy was placed in a project for building a naval base and even during the busy working schedule; he managed to find time to prepare mathematical papers. In November 1815 Cauchy was appointed as professor at Ecole Polytechnique.
In 1830, after a riot happened in Paris, Cauchy left his country and travelled through Switzerland, Sardinia and Prague and finally, returned to Paris in 1838. In 1839 he was elected to Bureau des Longitudes which was founded in 1795 to evaluate the longitudinal coordinates of an object on sea. But as Cauchy didn’t take the oath compulsory for the elected members, therefore the king refused to approve his appointment to the Bureau. Though, he was not paid for his work at the bureau but, Cauchy continues his research and presented several papers on ‘Celestial Mechanics’ at the bureau. Later, in 1843 he was replaced by Poinsot. After leaving the bureau Cauchy applied for a chair of mathematics at the Collège de France but eventually was not elected.
During this travel he served many positions and was elected as a foreign member of Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Cauchy married Aloise de Bure, member of a family of publishers and booksellers who published majority of his works. The couple had two daughters Marie Françoise Alicia and Marie Mathilde. Augustin Cauchy died on 23 May 1857 at 4 AM.

Contributions

Cauchy found the solution to the problem of Apollonius in 1805.
He is also known for the generalization of Euler's formula on polyhedral which he completed in 1811.
Cauchy’s ‘Integral Theorems’ was one of the first theorems proved by him; later presented at the Académie des Sciences on 14th of August, 1814.
He also formulated the ‘Complex Function Theory’ in 1825 which is said to be one of his most important works in the field of mathematics.
He also offered a formal definition of the ‘residue of a function’ in 1826 and in 1831 came up with the ‘Cauchy Integral Formula’.
Augustin Cauchy proved the Taylor's theorem and established the ‘form of the remainder’.

Major Works

Oeuvres complètes d'Augustin Cauchy publiées sous la direction scientifique de l'Académie des sciences et sous les auspices de M. le ministre de l'Instruction publique (27 volumes)
Cours d'analyse de l'École royale polytechnique
Le Calcul infinitesimal.
Leçons sur les applications de calcul infinitésimal; La géométrie.
Exercices d'analyse et de physique mathematique ( published in 4 volumes)
Mémoire sur l'emploi des equations symboliques dans le calcul infinitésimal et dans le calcul aux différences finis.

Legacy

No other mathematician except Leonhard Euler left behind a bigger body of work than Cauchy. All his works were conglomerated into 27 volumes after a century later and was published under the title, ‘Oeuvres complètes d'Augustin Cauchy publiées sous la direction scientifique de l'Académie des sciences et sous les auspices de M. le ministre de l'Instruction publique’.

Timeline

1789: Augustin Cauchy was born on 21 August in Paris, France.
1807: He finished his engineering course from Ecole Polytechnique.
1815: Cauchy was appointed as professor at Ecole Polytechnique.
1825: He formulated the ‘Complex Function Theory’.
1826: He offered a formal definition of the ‘residue of a function’.
1830: During the riots in Paris, Cauchy left his country and travelled through Switzerland, Sardinia and Prague.
1831: Came up with the ‘Cauchy Integral Formula
1838: He returned to Paris.
1839: He was elected to Bureau des Longitudes.
1857: Augustin Cauchy died on May 23.

Citation Information

Article Title

Augustin Louis Cauchy Biography

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Last Updated

May 28, 2019

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