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Short biography of G.Voronoi (p2)

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The main domain which G.Voronoi chose for his research was the number theory. It was the basic scientific direction of research in St.-Petersburg at that time. At the second half of the XIX century such well-known scientists as Professors   P.L.Chebyshev, A.A.Markov, Ye.I.Zolotarev were working here in this domain and, as a result of their efforts a scientific school arose which later on was called "Petersburg [St.-Petersburg was also called Petersburg and Petrograd] School of the Number Theory". Professor A.A.Markov became a scientific leader of G.Voronoi.


The Voronoi's debut at the mathematical scientific society took place on December 2, 1888. His report was based on his own research ─ it was the proof of one property of Bernoulli numbers by his own method. Professor Markov treated Voronoi's presentation with great  approval. This first success increased Voronoi's enthusiasm, so he continued his research and intensified it with wonderful persistence. A.Markov proposed him to prepare the paper for publication, but Georgy Voronoi, exacting to himself, wanted first to refine the obtained result and to generalize it. He continued his work next summer, in Zhuravka, and only when his exposition became sufficiently clear and precise, did he send the paper to Communications of Kharkov Mathematical Society.


In autumn of 1889, G.Voronoi brilliantly passed his final exams and defended his candidate thesis (which corresponds to the present term "diploma thesis"), the theme was concerned with Bernoulli's numbers. In November, 1889, he was kept at the University to prepare for master's degree exams. The representation necessary for it was signed by all the leading mathematician ─ professors:

A.A.Markov, O.M.Korkin, Yu.V.Sokhots'kii and K.O.Posse. Simultaneously,

G.Voronoi gained a scholarship and was appointed  a supernumerary teacher at the Petergof Progymnasium.  Thus, his future was ensured. At last, he became Olia's



Scientific interests of the young researcher were concentrated further on the theory  of irrationalities of the third degree. Two large works written by him in this direction made the foundation  of his magister dissertation (defended in 1894) and doctorate dissertation (which was published in Warsaw in 1896).


Academician D.Grave wrote in this connection in 1934:  "Georgy Voronoi is a Ukrainian mathematician of genius. While being at Petersbourg university he was busy with investigation of cubic domain which he performed with remarkable success and made a great discovery in this field. He extended the algorithm of continued fractions to a cubic domain ... This extension had been sought in vain by all the most outstanding mathematicians through the XIX century. Hence the Voronoi algorithm was found.”


The obtained result was so striking that Prof. A.Markov could not believe the correctness of the Voronoi proof and could not dare to approve his work. In this connection  D.Grave asserted, that Markov by telegraph (this fact was known to him fromhad  invited Voronoi to his office and proposed him to calculate the unit for one equation, for it Markov had found artificially one unit. Voronoi had calculated for three hours, and found the second unit, So, it was verified that the algorithm really exists.


After the defence of his magister dissertation, G.Voronoi worked almost all his life at the Warsaw University. Lecturer's duties took too much time because the staff of the University included only two professors of mathematics except Voronoi. For this reason, Voronoi was forced to lecture the  students of different terms gathering them in one class. For example, Voronoi lectured the courses of the theory of numbers and probability theory to students of the 3rd and 4th years. These courses were given by Voronoi once in two years.


Voronoi treated his lectures very seriously. He tried to acquaint his students with recent achievements of science and with his own new results. To ensure better understanding of the course by the students, Voronoi repeatedly  asked for permission to give additional lectures on analytic geometry. [Though such supplementary lectures were unpaid for, a lecturer had to obtain the permission from not only Dean and Rector, but also from Trustee of the Educational District]


From autumn of 1898, Voronoi also became a Dean of Mechanics Faculty of the Warsaw Polytechnical Institute. In 1898, the Moscow Mathematical Society elected G.Voronoi as one of its members.


In August of 1898, Voronoi took part at the Xth Conference of Russian naturalists and physicians in Kyiv. Next year, in St.-Petersburg, Voronoi gave three reports at the XIth Conference. In one of them, he proposed an original method for generalized summation of divergent series. Later, the same technique was independently discovered by Dutch mathematician  N.E.Nörlund and became  known for a long time as Nörlund's method. In 1904, Voronoi made two reports at the International Mathematical Congress held in Heidelberg.


In 1903-1904, there were issued two large papers of Voronoi on analytic number theory, which became a new direction of his studies. The results obtained by Voronoi were highly appreciated by mathematicians. As a consequence, he was elected Corresponding Member of the St.-Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1907.


G.Voronoi usually spent his summer vacations with his family in Zhuravka.

Here he continued his research and in his mathematical diary [Several note-books of G.Voronoi's mathematical diary are kept in the Institute of Manuscripts mentioned above] there are notes that he wrote it in Zhuravka.

In 1905-1907, both Warsaw University and Warsaw Polytechnical Institute were closed  because of revolutionary events. A number of their professors. and Voronoi among them, were sent to Novocherkassk, where Donskoi Polytechnical Institute was founded. Voronoi worked there about a year as Dean of the Mechanics Faculty. In autumn 1908, studies at the Warsaw University were renewed and

Voronoi returned to Warsaw. His teaching load was enormous because he remained a single professor for some time. Later, Voronoi gave part of his courses to Prof. I.R.Braitsev, who was transferred from Warsaw Polytechnical Institute to assist him. In that time, Voronoi lectured a new course on mathematical analysis and wrote a textbook on the basis of his lectures. In 1909-1911, it was published

at Warsaw University, Braitsev being its editor.


For many years, G.Voronoi developed arithmetic theory of quadratic forms. He possessed a peculiar habit to think his ideas over and over again in his mind until they matured and acquired an appropriate perfect form. Then he wrote down the obtained result very fast. Voronoi started to write his memoir on the theory of parallelohedra on 25.03.1907. In 10 days, he completed the work comprising 106 pages of a large size written compactly and in small letters. But already on 5.04.1907, he rewrote the text making numerous corrections. Only after the third

revision, Voronoi sent his manuscript to the journal edited by A.L.Krelle with the following covering letter:


"For twelve years I have been studying properties of parallelohedra. I can say it is a thorny field for investigation, and the results which I received and set forth in this memoir cost me dear...


Three-dimensional parallelohedra are playing now an important role in the theory of crystalline bodies, and crystallographers have already put attention to properties of these strange polyhedra, but till now the crystallographers were satisfied with the description of parallelohedra from a purely geometrical point of view. I noticed already long ago that the task of dividing the n-dimensional analytic space into convex congruent polyhedra is closely connected with the arithmetic theory of positive quadratic forms


This paper, which was certainly the highest manifestation of his great intelligence, became his swan-song.


The intense intellectual work required from him large efforts, but Voronoi lacked strong health. Some years before physicians had found a disease of the gallbladder which caused him many physical and mental sufferings. In that time, he worked in a new field of indefinite quadratic forms, he spoke about it with high emotions. As appears from his mathematical diary, Voronoi gave the first record about his results on the theory of indefinite quadratic forms on 20.02.1908 in Novocherkassk. Adverse conditions of his life in Novocherkassk had led to a hard

exacerbation of his disease. In view of this situation, Vorono\"{\i} hurried to put down his thoughts in his mathematical diary:


"I am doing very well in the problem which I am working at; meanwhile my health is ever getting worse. Yesterday for the first time I got a clear idea of the algorithm which is to solve all problems concerning the theory of forms which I am working at, but just yesterday I had a strong attack of a bilious colic which prevented me from working in the evening and was keeping me awake almost all night. I am so afraid lest the results of my long efforts, which I got with a great deal of hard work, should perish with me, while it is so difficult to put them in order. Many things I can only guess by some feeling, which just now, when I am ill, became sharper...”


Before his departure for Warsaw G.Voronoi told his friend  and colleague I.Braitsev:


"Doctors forbid me to work. But I have noticed myself that a strong mental effort will always cause a reaction in my ailment. The thing is they do not know what it means for me to give up my pursuits of mathematics. My wife alone knows that mathematics is being the purpose of my life for me, it is everything.”


Physicians believed that G.Voronoi needed a long-term holiday and advised him to go to Carlsbad [Now it is Karlovy Vary in Czech Republic] for treatment. But he decided to spend all summer, as in previous years, in Zhuravka, where he had always restored his health. Indeed, Voronoi felt fine but at the end of October in Warsaw his disease passed on to the acute form, and Georgy Vorono\"{\i} died on 7(20)th of November. p3

Категорія: Статті(Англійська мова) | Додав: fond_voronogo (17.03.2011)
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