Jacques Hadamard

Jacques Hadamard

French mathematician
Date of Birth: 08.12.1865
Country: France

  1. Jacques Hadamard - French mathematician
  2. Early Life and Education
  3. Academic Career
  4. Contributions to Mathematics
  5. Activism and Humanitarian Work

Jacques Hadamard - French mathematician

Jacques Hadamard was a renowned French mathematician known for his fundamental contributions to various branches of mathematics. He made significant contributions to algebra, geometry, functional analysis, differential geometry, mathematical physics, topology, probability theory, mechanics, and hydrodynamics. He became a member of the Paris Academy of Sciences in 1912 and an honorary member of the Board of Governors of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was also an elected foreign corresponding member of the Soviet Academy of Sciences in 1922 and an honorary foreign member in 1929.

Early Life and Education

Jacques Hadamard was born in Versailles into a Jewish family. He studied in Paris and began publishing scientific papers at the age of 19. In 1892, he married Louise-Anna Trénel, and they had three sons and two daughters. Tragically, two of their elder sons died during World War I, and their third son was killed in World War II.

Academic Career

In 1893, Hadamard became a professor in Bordeaux. He later held positions as a professor at the Collège de France (1897-1935), the University of Paris (1900-1912), and the Polytechnic School (1912-1937). During the German occupation of France (1940-1945), he lived in exile in the United States and returned to France after the war.

Contributions to Mathematics

Hadamard had diverse research interests and made significant contributions to various areas of mathematics. In number theory, he proved Chebyshev's conjecture on the asymptotic distribution of prime numbers. He also played a major role in the development of the theory of entire analytic functions and made substantial contributions to the theory of differential equations. His ideas had a significant influence on the creation of functional analysis.

In mechanics, Hadamard focused on stability problems and the study of the properties of trajectories of mechanical systems near equilibrium positions. He also dedicated considerable attention to issues related to school teaching. His elementary geometry textbook gained wide popularity. Notable mathematicians such as Maurice Fréchet and André Weil were among his students.

Activism and Humanitarian Work

Hadamar's involvement in activism and humanitarian work was also notable. As a relative of Alfred Dreyfus's wife, he was deeply affected by the Dreyfus Affair. He actively participated in the League of Human Rights founded by Émile Zola and supported left-wing movements in 1930s France. He played a significant role in the establishment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and provided assistance to scholars, both Jewish and non-Jewish, fleeing Nazi Germany.

After World War II, Hadamard actively advocated for peace and reconnected with left-wing organizations, which caused difficulties in obtaining permission to enter the United States. However, his contributions to mathematics and his humanitarian efforts left a lasting legacy.