Download A Comet of the Enlightenment: Anders Johan Lexell's Life and by Johan C.-E. Stén PDF

By Johan C.-E. Stén

The Finnish mathematician and astronomer Anders Johan Lexell (1740–1784) used to be a long-time shut collaborator in addition to the educational successor of Leonhard Euler on the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg. Lexell used to be at first invited through Euler from his local city of Abo (Turku) in Finland to Saint Petersburg to aid within the mathematical processing of the astronomical information of the drawing close transit of Venus of 1769. many years later he grew to become a standard member of the Academy. this can be the first-ever full-length biography dedicated to Lexell and his prolific medical output. His wealthy correspondence in particular from his grand travel to Germany, France and England unearths him as a lucid observer of the highbrow panorama of enlightened Europe. within the skies, a comet, a minor planet and a crater at the Moon named after Lexell additionally perpetuate his memory.

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Additional resources for A Comet of the Enlightenment: Anders Johan Lexell's Life and Discoveries

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Despite the impressive title, the position was not much valued: the Adjuncts were not entitled to lecture, and their salaries were insignificant. In the long run, such a position could not satisfy a talent like Lexell. Thus, when the position of lecturer (professor) of mathematics for the marine cadets was declared vacant at the Naval School (Kongliga Amiralitets Cadett Corpsen) in Karlskrona, Sweden, the Consistory of the Academy of Åbo issued a strong recommendation for Lexell on 15 February 1766 [81].

2 Map of the church quarter in Åbo (Turku) showing the cathedral and the house of Lexell (site Nı 37). The Royal Academy (university) is situated in the houses on the southern part of the wall surrounding the Cathedral (C, D, E). The Library (K) and the Cathedral school (I) are on the north side. These buildings were destroyed in the conflagration in 1827. Site Nı 48 is the Botanical Garden by the river Aura, the academic bookstore was situated on the bridge; nowadays, the bridge crosses the river closer to the Cathedral.

A fair assumption is that he at least made the acquaintance of the Uppsala mathematicians and astronomers Fredrik Mallet (1728–1797), Daniel Melander (1726–1810; after ennoblement in 1778 Melanderhjelm) [126], Mårten Strömer (1707–1770) and Samuel Duraeus. Whether he also met Linnaeus or Wargentin during this visit is uncertain. Be that as it may, 20 As a young man, Captain Jonas Meldercreutz (1715–1785), had accompanied Maupertuis’ expedition to Torne River Valley in 1736. Besides being a Professor of Mathematics in Uppsala, he was a farmer and estate-owner, who spent more and more time at his mine works until he resigned from his Chair in 1772.

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