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Jakob Hermann (16 July 1678 – 11 July 1733)[1] was a mathematician who worked on problems in classical mechanics. In 1729 he proclaimed that it was as easy to graph a locus on the polar coordinate system as it was to graph it on the Cartesian coordinate system. However, no one listened.

He appears to have been the first to show that the Laplace-Runge-Lenz vector is a constant of motion for particles acted upon by an inverse-square central force.[2][3]

Hermann received his initial training from Jacob Bernoulli and graduated with a degree in 1695. He became a member of the Berlin Academy in 1701. He was appointed to a chair in mathematics in Padua in 1707, but moved to Frankfurt-an-der-Oder in 1713, and thence to St. Petersburg in 1724. Finally, he returned to Basel in 1731 to take a chair in ethics and natural law[1].

Hermann was elected to the Académie Royale des Sciences (Paris) in 1733, the year of his death.

Hermann was a distant relative of Leonhard Euler.


1. ^ a b David Eugene Smith (1958). History of mathematics. N.Y. : Dover Publications. p. 520.
2. ^ Hermann, Jakob (1710). "d’investigare l’Orbite de’ Pianeti, nell’ipotesi che le forze centrali o pure le gravit´a delgi stessi Pianeti sono in ragione reciproca de’ quadrati delle distanze, che i medesimi tengono dal Centro, a cui si dirigono le forze stesse". Giornale de Letterati D'Italia 2: 447–467.
3. ^ Hermann, Jakob (1710). "Extrait d'une lettre de M. Herman à M. Bernoulli datée de Padoüe le 12. Juillet 1710". Histoire de l'academie royale des sciences (Paris) 1732: 519–521.

External links

* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Jakob Hermann", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, .
* MacTutor summary of the Leibniz letter controversy


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