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Transcript

Marie-Sophie Germain, a self-taught French mathematician and physicist, was one of the pioneers of elasticity theory and made important contributions to number theory. One of her most important works was the study of what later became known as prime numbers. In 1811 Germain entered a competition at the French Academy of Sciences to explain the mathematical foundations developed by a German mathematician, Ernst Chladni, applied to the study of the vibrations of elastic surfaces, and after being rejected twice, in 1816 she won the competition, with a paper entitled "Mémoire sur les Vibrations des Surfaces Élastiques". This enabled her to become the first woman to attend the sessions of the French Academy of Sciences. She died on 27 June 1831 in Paris of breast cancer at the age of 55. Despite their extensive correspondence, Gauss and Sophie never met in person.

SOPHIE GERMAIN

  • Sophie Germain contributed a great deal to number theory and elasticity theory.
  • She was self-taught, as women of her time were not allowed to go to university.
  • She showed society that a woman could dedicate herself to science and deserved the same opportunities as a man.
  • Her father had a library where she studied.

CURIOSITIES