JEAN-BAPTISTE JOSEPH FOURIER - (/ˈfʊəriˌeɪ, -iər/ ; French: ;
21 March 1768 – 16 May 1830) was a French mathematician and
physicist born in
* 1 Biography * 2 The Analytic Theory of Heat * 3 Determinate equations * 4 Discovery of the greenhouse effect * 5 Works * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 Further reading * 9 External links
Fourier was born at
... the Prefect of the Department of Isère having recently died, I would like to express my confidence in citizen Fourier by appointing him to this place.
Hence being faithful to Napoleon, he took the office of Prefect. It
was while at
Fourier moved to England in 1816. Later, he returned to France, and
in 1822 succeeded
Jean Baptiste Joseph Delambre
In 1830, his diminished health began to take its toll:
Fourier had already experienced, in Egypt and Grenoble, some attacks of aneurism of the heart. At Paris, it was impossible to be mistaken with respect to the primary cause of the frequent suffocations which he experienced. A fall, however, which he sustained on the 4th of May 1830, while descending a flight of stairs, aggravated the malady to an extent beyond what could have been ever feared.
Shortly after this event, he died in his bed on 16 May 1830.
Fourier was buried in the
Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, a tomb
decorated with an Egyptian motif to reflect his position as secretary
THE ANALYTIC THEORY OF HEAT
Sketch of Fourier, circa 1820.
In 1822 Fourier published his work on heat flow in Théorie analytique de la chaleur (The Analytical Theory of Heat), in which he based his reasoning on Newton\'s law of cooling , namely, that the flow of heat between two adjacent molecules is proportional to the extremely small difference of their temperatures. This book was translated, with editorial 'corrections', into English 56 years later by Freeman (1878). The book was also edited, with many editorial corrections, by Darboux and republished in French in 1888.
There were three important contributions in this work, one purely
mathematical, two essentially physical. In mathematics, Fourier
claimed that any function of a variable, whether continuous or
discontinuous, can be expanded in a series of sines of multiples of
the variable. Though this result is not correct without additional
conditions, Fourier's observation that some discontinuous functions
are the sum of infinite series was a breakthrough. The question of
determining when a
One important physical contribution in the book was the concept of dimensional homogeneity in equations; i.e. an equation can be formally correct only if the dimensions match on either side of the equality; Fourier made important contributions to dimensional analysis . The other physical contribution was Fourier's proposal of his partial differential equation for conductive diffusion of heat. This equation is now taught to every student of mathematical physics.
Bust of Fourier in
Fourier left an unfinished work on determinate equations which was
Claude-Louis Navier and published in 1831. This work
contains much original matter — in particular, there is a
demonstration of Fourier's theorem on the position of the roots of an
DISCOVERY OF THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
Fourier's grave, Père Lachaise Cemetery
In the 1820s Fourier calculated that an object the size of the Earth, and at its distance from the Sun, should be considerably colder than the planet actually is if warmed by only the effects of incoming solar radiation. He examined various possible sources of the additional observed heat in articles published in 1824 and 1827. While he ultimately suggested that interstellar radiation might be responsible for a large portion of the additional warmth, Fourier's consideration of the possibility that the Earth's atmosphere might act as an insulator of some kind is widely recognized as the first proposal of what is now known as the greenhouse effect , although Fourier never called it that.
In his articles, Fourier referred to an experiment by de Saussure , who lined a vase with blackened cork. Into the cork, he inserted several panes of transparent glass, separated by intervals of air. Midday sunlight was allowed to enter at the top of the vase through the glass panes. The temperature became more elevated in the more interior compartments of this device. Fourier concluded that gases in the atmosphere could form a stable barrier like the glass panes. This conclusion may have contributed to the later use of the metaphor of the 'greenhouse effect' to refer to the processes that determine atmospheric temperatures. Fourier noted that the actual mechanisms that determine the temperatures of the atmosphere included convection , which was not present in de Saussure's experimental device.
* Fourier, Joseph (1822). Théorie analytique de la chaleur. Paris: Firmin Didot Père et Fils.
* Fourier, Joseph (1824). Annales de chimie et de physique. 27. Paris: Annals of Chemistry and Physics. pp. 236–281.
* Fourier, Joseph (1827). Mémoire sur la température du globe terrestre et des espaces planétaires. 7. Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Institut de France. pp. 569–604.
* Fourier, Joseph (1827). Mémoire sur la distinction des racines imaginaires, et sur l\'application des théorèmes d\'analyse algébrique aux équations transcendantes qui dépendant de la théorie de la chaleur. 7. Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Institut de France. pp. 605–624.
* Fourier, Joseph (1827). Analyse des équations déterminées. 10. Firmin Didot frères. pp. 119–146.
* Fourier, Joseph (1827). Remarques générales sur l\'application du principe de l\'analyse algébrique aux équations transcendantes. 10. Paris: Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Institut de France. pp. 119–146.
* Fourier, Joseph (1833). Mémoire d\'analyse sur le mouvement de la chaleur dans les fluides. 12. Paris: Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Institut de France. pp. 507–530.
* Fourier, Joseph (1821). Rapport sur les tontines. 5. Paris: Memoirs of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Institut de France. pp. 26–43.
* ^ "Fourier". Random House Webster\'s Unabridged Dictionary .
* ^ Cowie, J. (2007). Climate Change: Biological and Human Aspects.
Cambridge University Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-521-69619-7 .
* ^ Boilly, Julien-Leopold. (1820). Album de 73 Portraits-Charge
Aquarelle’s des Membres de I’Institute (watercolor portrait #29).
Biliotheque de l’Institut de France.
* ^ A B C "Jean-Baptiste Fourier". Retrieved 4 April 2012.
* ^ Nowlan, Robert. A Chronicle of Mathematical People (PDF).
* ^ Arago, François (1857). Biographies of Distinguished
* ^ A subscription has been launched to erect a new one.
* ^ Fourier, Joseph (1822). Théorie analytique de la chaleur (in
French). Paris: Firmin Didot Père et Fils.
* Initial text from the public domain
Rouse History of Mathematics
* Fourier, Joseph. (1822). Theorie Analytique de la Chaleur. Firmin
Didot (reissued by
Cambridge University Press