Émile Picard

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Émile Picard, 1926

Charles Émile Picard (born July 24, 1856 in Paris , † December 11, 1941 there ) was a French mathematician .

Live and act

His father owned a silk factory. But he died in 1870 during the siege of Paris (→ Franco-German War ), and the then completely impoverished family (Émile and his younger brother) had to be supported by their mother's work. Picard was one of the best students at the Lycée Henri IV , especially in classical philology, and second and first in the entrance tests for the elite schools École polytechnique and the École normal supérieure (ENS). Since he was enthusiastic about the sciences after a lecture by Louis Pasteur (at that time particularly cultivated at the ENS, while the Polytechnique trained more engineers), he chose the ENS, where he graduated in 1877, as the first in his class. He was an assistant at his alma mater for a year , became a lecturer at the University of Paris in 1878 and professor at the University of Toulouse in 1879 . In 1881 he became Maître de conférences for mechanics and astronomy at the ENS and in 1885 as successor to Jean-Claude Bouquet Professor of differential calculus at the Sorbonne . He was also a professor at the École Centrale Paris from 1894-1937 , where he mainly taught engineers.

Picard made important contributions to function theory , analysis , algebra and geometry . The Picard's theorem (1879), Picard's iteration method in the theory of differential equations, with which Picard-Lindelof's theorem is usually proven, are known. In the two-volume Théorie des fonctions algébraiques de deux variables indépendantes (1897, 1906) with Georges Simart (1846–1921) he examined integrals of algebraic functions on algebraic surfaces .

Picard also dealt with questions of mathematical physics , so he examined the propagation of electrical pulses in wires ( line equation ).

As a university lecturer, he was known for his excellent lectures; his student Jacques Hadamard even called them the most perfect he had ever heard. This is also reflected in his Traité d'Analyse , which became a classic immediately after its publication.

From 1884 to 1917 he was a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences . In 1889 he was elected to the Paris Academy of Sciences (after being unsuccessfully nominated for it in 1881). From 1917 to 1941 he was her permanent secretary. In 1888 he received the Academy’s Grand Prize and in 1886 the Poncelet Prize . In 1903 he was elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences and in 1909 as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society . In 1920 he became an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh . In 1932 he received the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor . In 1924 he became a member of the Académie française . In 1920 he was President of the International Congress of Mathematicians in Strasbourg. In 1937 he received the Mittag-Leffler gold medal

In 1908 he gave a plenary lecture at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Rome (La mathématique dans ses rapports avec la physique). After the First World War he was one of the driving forces on the French side, excluding Germany and Austria from the International Mathematical Union and from the International Congress of Mathematicians (which he only managed to do until 1928). In 1884 and 1897 he was president of the Société Mathématique de France .

The asteroid (29613) Charlespicard was named after him in 2002.

Picard married a daughter of the mathematician Charles Hermite in 1881 , whose works he also edited. The couple had a daughter and two sons, both of whom died in World War I.

Fonts (selection)

  • Traité d'analysis . 3 vols. Éditions Jacques Gabay, Sceaux 1991 (first 1891 to 1896).


Individual evidence

  1. Holger Krahnke: The members of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen 1751-2001 (= Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Philological-Historical Class. Volume 3, Vol. 246 = Treatises of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Mathematical-Physical Class. Episode 3, vol. 50). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-82516-1 , p. 189.
  2. Named after Jean-Victor Poncelet (1788–1867).
  3. Named after Magnus Gösta Mittag-Leffler (1846–1927).

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