Adrien-Marie Legendre

Adrien-Marie Legendre

Infobox Scientist
name = Adrien-Marie Legendre
caption = Adrien-Marie Legendre
birth_date = birth date|1752|9|18|mf=y
birth_place = Paris, France
death_date = death date and age|1833|1|10|1752|9|18|mf=y
death_place = Paris, France
residence = flag|France
nationality = flagicon|France French
field = Mathematician
work_institution = École Militaire
alma_mater = Collège Mazarin
doctoral_advisor =
doctoral_students =
known_for = Lagrangian and elliptic functions
prizes =
religion =
footnotes =

Adrien-Marie Legendre (September 18 1752January 10 1833) was a French mathematician. He made important contributions to statistics, number theory, abstract algebra and mathematical analysis.

The Legendre crater on the Moon is named after him.


Born in a wealthy family, Legendre studied physics in Paris and later taught at a military academy out of interest, not because of financial need. His earliest work in physics concerned the trajectories of cannonballs, but later he moved more towards mathematics.

In 1782, he was elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences.

Legendre lost his money during the French Revolution. His "Éléments de Géométrie" was a lucrative book and was much reprinted and translated, but it was his various teaching positions and pensions that kept him at an acceptable standard of living. A mistake in office politics in 1824 led to the loss of his pension and he lived the rest of his years in poverty.

cientific activity

Most of his work was brought to perfection by others: his work on roots of polynomials inspired Galois theory; Abel's work on elliptic functions was built on Legendre's; some of Gauss' work in statistics and number theory completed that of Legendre. He developed the least squares method, which has broad application in linear regression, signal processing, statistics, and curve fitting. Today, the term "least squares method" is used as a direct translation from the French "méthode des moindres carrés".

In 1830 he gave a proof of Fermat's last theorem for exponent "n" = 5, which was also proven by Dirichlet in 1828.

In number theory, he conjectured the quadratic reciprocity law, subsequently proved by Gauss; in connection to this, the Legendre symbol is named after him. He also did pioneering work on the distribution of primes, and on the application of analysis to number theory. His 1796 conjecture of the Prime number theorem was rigorously proved by Hadamard and de la Vallée-Poussin in 1898.

Legendre did an impressive amount of work on elliptic functions, including the classification of elliptic integrals, but it took Abel's stroke of genius to study the inverses of Jacobi's functions and solve the problem completely.

He is known for the Legendre transform, which is used to go from the Lagrangian to the Hamiltonian formulation of classical mechanics. In thermodynamics it is also used to obtain the enthalpy and the Helmholtz and Gibbs (free) energies from the internal energy. He is also the namesake of the Legendre polynomials which occur frequently in physics and engineering applications, "e.g." electrostatics.

He also wrote the influential "Éléments de géométrie" in 1794."

ee also

* Gauss-Legendre algorithm
* Legendre's constant
* Legendre's equation
* Legendre polynomials
* Legendre's conjecture
* Legendre transformation
* Legendre symbol

External links

* [ Biography] at [ Fermat's Last Theorem Blog]
* [ References for Adrien-Marie Legendre]
* [ Eléments de géométrie] (Paris : F. Didot, 1817)
* [ Elements of geometry and trigonometry, from the works of A. M. Legendre. Revised and adapted to the course of mathematical instruction in the United States, by Charles Davies.] (New York: A. S. Barnes & co. , 1858) : English translation of the above text
* [ Mémoires sur la méthode des moindres quarrés, et sur l'attraction des ellipsoïdes homogènes] (1830)
* [ Théorie des nombres] (Paris : Firmin-Didot, 1830)
* [ Traité des fonctions elliptiques et des intégrales eulériennes] (Paris : Huzard-Courcier, 1825-1828)

NAME= Legendre, Adrien-Marie
DATE OF BIRTH= September 18 1752
PLACE OF BIRTH= Paris, France
DATE OF DEATH= January 10 1833
PLACE OF DEATH= Paris, France

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  • Adrien Marie Legendre — [ləˈʒɑ̃ːdrə] (* 18. September 1752 in Paris; † 10. Januar 1833 ebenda) war ein französischer Mathematiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Werk 3 Sonstiges …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Adrien-Marie Legendre — (París, 1752 Auteuil, Francia, 1833), Matemático francés. Hizo importantes contribuciones a la estadística, la teoría de números, el álgebra abstracta y el …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Adrien-Marie Legendre — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Legendre. Adrien Marie Legendre Portrait charge de Adrien Marie Legendre[1] …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Adrien-Marie Legendre — Karikatur Legendres des französischen Künstlers Julien Leopold Boilly Adrien Marie Legendre [ləˈʒɑ̃ːdrə] (* 18. September 1752 in Paris; † 10. Januar 1833 ebenda) war ein französischer Mathematiker. Inhaltsverzeichnis …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Adrien-Marie Legendre — Archivo:Marie Legendre.jpg Marie Legendre Adrien Marie Legendre. Adrien Marie Legendre (París, 18 de septiembre de 1752 Auteuil, Francia, 10 de enero de 1833) fue un matemático francés. Hizo importantes contribuciones a la estadística …   Wikipedia Español

  • Legendre, Adrien-Marie — (1752 1833)    mathematician    Born in Paris, Adrien Marie Legendre was commissioned by the Convention at the time of the revolution of 1789 to work on geodesics and, in doing so, enriched the study of trigonometry, developing a method, for… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Legendre,Adrien Marie — Le·gen·dre (lə zhänʹdrə, zhäɴʹ ), Adrien Marie. 1752 1833. French mathematician who is best remembered for his work on number theory and elliptic integrals. * * * …   Universalium

  • Legendre, Adrien-Marie — ▪ French mathematician born September 18, 1752, Paris, France died January 10, 1833, Paris  French mathematician whose distinguished work on elliptic integrals (elliptic equation) provided basic analytic tools for mathematical physics.… …   Universalium

  • LEGENDRE, ADRIEN MARIE —    brilliant French mathematician, contemporary of Lagrange and Laplace, born at Toulouse; obtained the professorship of Mathematics in the Military School at Paris, and was elected to the Academy of Sciences in 1783; he was one of the… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • LEGENDRE (A. M.) — LEGENDRE ADRIEN MARIE (1752 1833) Mathématicien français né et mort à Paris. L’ouvrage qui rendit célèbre Adrien Marie Legendre a pour titre Éléments de géométrie (1794). Il représente un des premiers essais de formalisation rigoureuse de la… …   Encyclopédie Universelle