Peirce, Benjamin

▪ American mathematician and astronomerborn , April 4, 1809, Salem, Massachusetts, U.S.died October 6, 1880, Cambridge, MassachusettsAmerican mathematician, astronomer, and educator who computed the general perturbations of the planets Uranus and Neptune.Peirce graduated from Harvard University in 1829 and accepted a teaching position with George Bancroft (Bancroft, George) at his Round Hill School in Northampton, Massachusetts. Two years later Peirce was asked to join the faculty at Harvard as a tutor in mathematics. Much of his reputation was based on two of his early works. The first was his solution to a mathematical problem proposed in the journal Mathematical Diary, in which he proved that there is no odd perfect number (a number that is equal to the sum of its proper divisors) with fewer than four distinct prime factors; the second was his commentary and revision of his countryman Nathaniel Bowditch (Bowditch, Nathaniel)'s translation of the first four volumes of the Frenchman PierreSimon Laplace (Laplace, PierreSimon, marquis de)'s Traité de mécanique céleste (1798–1827; “Treatise on Celestial Mechanics”).In 1833 Peirce received his M.A. from Harvard and was named a professor of astronomy and mathematics. During the next decade he wrote a series of textbooks and monographs dealing with trigonometry, algebra, geometry, astronomy, and navigation, as well as An Elementary Treatise on Sound (1836), based on the work of physicist Sir William Herschel (Herschel, Sir William). Peirce was instrumental in establishing the Harvard (Harvard University) Observatory, and in 1842 he became Harvard's Perkins Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy, a position he held until his death. In this capacity he helped determine the orbit of the newly discovered planet Neptune and calculated the perturbations produced between its own orbit and those of Uranus and other planets. Peirce, who was an influential proponent of Sir William Hamilton (Hamilton, Sir William Rowan)'s ideas, did more than anyone else to develop interest in quaternions (Hamilton's generalization of complex numbers (complex number) to three dimensions) in the United States.Considered the leading American mathematician of his day, Peirce was named to a fiveman committee by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1847 to plan and organize what was to be the Smithsonian Institution. From 1849 to 1867 Peirce served as consulting astronomer to the newly created American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac, and in 1852 he began a long association with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. Starting as director of longitude determinations, he eventually became superintendent of the survey (1867–74) and oversaw the production of the first geodetic map of the country independent of local surveys. Peirce also served, in 1863, as one of the 50 incorporators of the National Academy of Sciences. His book A System of Analytical Mechanics (1855) is considered one of the most important mathematical books produced in the United States up to that date. His best work, Linear Associative Algebra (1870), which is a study of possible systems of multiple algebras, stemmed from his interest in quaternions.
* * *
Universalium. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Peirce,Benjamin — Peirce (pîrs, pûrs), Benjamin. 1809 1880. American mathematician and astronomer known for his studies of Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn s rings. * * * … Universalium
PEIRCE, BENJAMIN — American mathematician and astronomer, born in Massachusetts, U.S.; wrote on the discovery of Neptune and Saturn s rings, as well as a number of mathematical text books (1809 1880) … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Benjamin Peirce — (* 4. April 1809 in Salem, Massachusetts; † 6. Oktober 1880 in Cambridge, Massachusetts), Vater des Philosophen Charles S. Peirce, war amerikanischer Astronom, Mathematiker und Lehrer, der … Deutsch Wikipedia
Benjamin Peirce — Benjamin Peirce, américain, est né le 4 avril 1809 et mort le 6 octobre 1880. Il fut professeur de mathématiques et physique à Harvard. Père du philosophe qui a fondé le pragmatisme … Wikipédia en Français
Benjamin Peirce — Infobox Scientist name = Benjamin Peirce box width = image width =150px caption = Benjamin Peirce birth date = April 4, 1809 birth place = death date = October 6, 1880 death place = residence = citizenship = nationality = American ethnicity =… … Wikipedia
Peirce, Charles Sanders — born Sept. 10, 1839, Cambridge, Mass., U.S. died April 19, 1914, near Milford, Pa. U.S. scientist, logician, and philosopher. He was the son of the mathematician and astronomer Benjamin Peirce (1809–80). After attending Harvard University he… … Universalium
Peirce's criterion — is a method, devised by Benjamin Peirce, that may be used to eliminate suspect experimental data using probability theory. DescriptionFor scientists, engineers and others involved in real data collection, the situation often arises in which one… … Wikipedia
PEIRCE (C. S.) — Logicien et philosophe américain, Peirce est un pionnier de la pensée. S’il laissa à d’autres l’exploration des domaines qu’il conquit, il leur avait tracé la voie et préparé la tâche. Ses travaux sur les fondements des mathématiques en font un… … Encyclopédie Universelle
Peirce — may mean:*Benjamin Peirce, American mathematician, author of an article on rejection of data outliers Peirce s Criterion, and father of Charles Peirce *Bill Peirce (born 1938), economist, Professor Emeritus at Case Western Reserve University, and … Wikipedia
Peirce — ist der Name von Benjamin Peirce (1809–1880), US amerikanischer Astronom, Mathematiker und Lehrer; Vater von Charles Sanders Peirce Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914), US amerikanischer Mathematiker, Philosoph und Logiker, Eponym für Peirce… … Deutsch Wikipedia