Jacob Bernoulli was a renowned Swiss mathematician

@Scientists, Birthday and Facts

Jacob Bernoulli was a renowned Swiss mathematician

- Birthday: December 27, 1654
- Died on: August 16, 1705
- Nationality: Swiss
- Famous: Scientists, Mathematicians
- Spouses: Judith Stupanus
- Siblings: Johann Bernoulli
- Universities:
- University of Basel

Jacob Bernoulli born at

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Birth Place

In 1684, Jacob Bernoulli married Judith Stupanus. They had two children; a son called Nicolaus (named after his grandfather) and a daughter (name not known). Although two of his nephews later became reputed mathematicians, none of his own children followed in his footsteps.

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Personal Life

Although initially Jacob collaborated with his younger brother Johann on various mathematical problems, over the years they became rivals and publicly attacked each other. By 1697, the relationship between the two became so bitter that they were no longer on speaking terms.

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Personal Life

Jacob Bernoulli died on 16 August, 1705. As per his wish, the logarithmic spiral with the Latin inscription ‘Eadem Mutata Resurgo’ was engraved on his tombstone in Basel Munster. The inscription also says that he had been suffering from some chronic disease and died from it at the age of fifty.

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Personal Life

Jacob Bernoulli was born on 6 January 1655 in Basel into the famed Bernoulli family, originally from Antwerp. Over the course of three generations, it produced eight highly acclaimed mathematicians who contributed significantly to the foundation of applied mathematics and physics.

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Childhood & Early Life

Jacob’s father, Nicolaus Bernoulli, was an important member of the town council and also a magistrate. He was also the owner of a successful spice business, which he had inherited from his father. Jacob’s mother, Margaretha Schonauer, came from an influential family of bankers and councilors.

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Childhood & Early Life

Jacob had two younger brothers, Nicolaus and Johann Bernoulli. While Nicolaus grew up to be a painter and alderman of Basel, Johann became a mathematician and earned fame for his contributions to infinitesimal calculus.

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Childhood & Early Life

Nothing is known about Jacob’s early life except that he entered University of Basel with philosophy and theology at his parents’ insistence. Side by side, against the wishes of his parents, he also began studying mathematics and astronomy.

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Childhood & Early Life

In 1671, Jacob Bernoulli graduated from the University of Basel with a master’s degree in philosophy. Thereafter in 1676, he received his licentiate in theology. Refusing a position in the church, he moved to Geneva in the same year and there he sustained himself by giving tuitions.

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Childhood & Early Life

In 1683, on returning to Switzerland, Bernoulli accepted a position at the University of Basel and began teaching mechanics. Concurrently, he also started studying the new discoveries in the field of mathematics and began his own research on the subject.

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Career

In the same year, while studying a problem regarding compound interest, he discovered the first approximation found of the mathematical constant ‘e’. This was possibly his first major discovery for which he justly became famous.

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Career

Sometime now, his younger brother Johann Bernoulli entered the University of Basel to study medicine but soon started studying mathematics with Jacob. Subsequently, the two brothers began to study the publications of von Tschirnhaus as well as differential calculus as presented by Leibniz.

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Career

In fact, the brothers were among the first batch of mathematicians who studied infinitesimal calculus. Subsequently they began to apply the theory to various problems. Later they helped in spreading this new branch of mathematics and became instrumental in turning it into one of the fundamental features of mathematics.

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Career

Side by side, Jacob continued his own research and in 1685 published his work on the parallels of logic and algebra in a pamphlet form. In the same year, he published another paper; this time on the theory of probability.

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Career

Jacob Bernoulli is best remembered for his book, ‘Ars Conjectandi’ (The Art of Conjecturing), published posthumously in 1713, by his nephew Nicolaus I Bernoulli. The work consolidated many central ideas in probability theory, including the first version of the law of large numbers, as well as many combinatorial topics.

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Major Works

Bernoulli had started the work in 1684. Although a major part of the book was finished by 1689 he continued working on it until his death in 1705. Therefore, it is essentially an incomplete work. Yet, the scholars consider it to be one of the major works in combinatorics and mathematical probability.

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Major Works