Living mathematics: Poincaré and Weyl in context

  • Jeremy J. Gray

    The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK
Living mathematics: Poincaré and Weyl in context cover

A subscription is required to access this book chapter.


Henri Poincaré and Hermann Weyl enriched both mathematics and physics. Indeed, Poincaré and Weyl lived their mathematics, physics, and philosophy, and they reflected deeply on their work in their popular essays. By looking at their popular writings we can gain an intimate sense of what animated them, the different sets of values and aspirations that they had, and the ways they saw the significance of their work.

Tradition is for the mathematician to create, change, even transcend – and surely Poincaré and Weyl transcended it – and for the historian to take apart, complicate, re-balance, even reject. But everyone is marked by their time and place.