Erik Ivar Fredholm

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Erik Ivar Fredholm

Erik Ivar Fredholm (born April 7, 1866 in Stockholm , † August 17, 1927 in Mörby near Stockholm) was a Swedish mathematician . In 1903 he founded the modern theory of integral equations , which is also called Fredholm's theory after him. The Fredholm operators are named after him.

Fredholm was the son of a merchant who made a fortune introducing electric lighting in Sweden. He studied at the Royal Technical University in Stockholm, which left him with a lifelong interest in applied mathematics, and at Uppsala University. At that time it was the only Swedish university that awarded doctoral degrees, but in fact he studied with Magnus Gösta Mittag-Leffler in Stockholm, where he received his doctorate in 1893 (and again in 1898) (in Uppsala). He then became a lecturer at Stockholm University . Mittag-Leffler was so impressed by Fredholm's work that he sent some to Henri Poincaré in Paris, and in 1899 Fredholm himself spent a year in Paris with Poincaré, Émile Picard and Jacques Hadamard . While studying the Dirichlet problem of potential theory, he developed his Fredholm theory of integral equations, which generalized previous approaches. The theory became known in Göttingen soon after the turn of the century (through lectures by Holmgren in 1901) and was taken up and further developed there by David Hilbert . Fredholm, who was inspired by Vito Volterra and Poincaré, transferred ideas of linear algebra to the case of an infinite number of equations and variables. His main work, in which he presented his theory, was Sur une classe d´equations fonctionelles (Acta Mathematica 1903).

From 1906 he was professor of mechanics and mathematical physics at Stockholm University, which also reflected Fredholm's main interests - many of his mathematical work had its origin in problems in mathematical physics. At the university he was temporarily dean. In addition to his professorship, he was employed in the Swedish state insurance and insurance industry and served in various public offices. As a scientist, too, he shifted his interest to actuarial mathematics from around 1902. In 1907 he was elected a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences and in 1922 of the Académie des Sciences .

He had been married since 1911 and had a son who embarked on a military career.

The asteroid (21659) Fredholm and the lunar crater Fredholm were named after him. In 1909 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Leipzig and in 1908 he received the Poncelet Prize of the French Academy of Sciences.

His collected works (oeuvres) were published in Malmö in 1955.

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. 85.
  2. ^ List of members since 1666: Letter F. Académie des sciences, accessed on November 16, 2019 (French).
  3. Fredholm in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature

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