James Joseph Sylvester

James Joseph Sylvester

James Joseph Sylvester (* 3. September 1814 in London; † 15. March 1897 in London) was an English mathematician.

Sylvester studied professor of physics at the University college London and 1840 professor starting from 1833 in Cambridge, became 1837mathematics at the university of Virginia. In this function he worked starting from 1855 on the military academy in Woolwich, 1870 to John Hopkins University in Baltimore and 1883 in Oxford.

It invented several geometrical instruments, like the Plagiographen (Schiefantograph) and the geometrical fan.Furthermore it researched together with Arthur Cayley in the area of the invariant theory. A further sphere of activity was the theory of stencils and determinants. The designation “matrix “was introduced 1850 by Sylvester, equally the inertia set from Sylvester is designated to it.

It provedthe following sentence:

Jeder natürliche Zahl n > 2 has exactly the same many representations as sum of successive natural numbers, how it has odd divisors. The number of 1 is counted not as divisor, probably however the number of n.


  • 1878 Chemistry and algebra; here it leadsthe term “graph” for representations in chemistry
  • 1885 theory of the Reciprozienten, an important work for algebra


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