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Peter Barlow

Background:

Peter Barlow was born in Norwich, England in 1776 and died on March 1, 1862 in Kent, England. Peter's area of math focus tended to be in Number Theory. In 1806 he became the Mathematical Master at Woolwich Academy, a position he held for forty-one years. His early works were published in the 'Ladies Diary' in 1801, he soon became a well known mathematician and began publishing his articles for encyclopedias.

Contributions:

  • Elementary Investigation of the Theory of Numbers 1811
  • The Barlow Tables were published In 1814. When initially released, these tables were called 'New Mathematical Tables. The tables give factors, squares, cubes, square roots, reciprocals and hyperbolic logarithms of all numbers from 1 to 10 000. Peter Barlow was known for his attention to detail and accuracy. The tables were used repeatedly and were reprinted several times. If not for computers and calculators, they would be used today due to their accuracy. In fact, they are still available!
  • The Barlow Lens, a well known device to amateur astronomers. (Peter Barlow did a lot of experimenting with optics.)

Famous Quote:

"230(231-1) is the greatest perfect number that will ever be discovered, for, as they are merely curious without being useful, it is not likely that any person will attempt to find a number beyond it.

(Quoted in D MacHale, Conic Sections (Dublin 1993) )

Recommended Reads :

Barlow's Tables of Squares, Cubes, Roots and Reciprocals.
Peter Barlow's tables were first release in 1814, they have been reprinted over and over again. Although somewhat made obsolete with calculators and computers, these tables are still a handy and accurate resource for students without access to electronic resources. Note, the tables only go up to 12,500
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Mathematical Apocrypha
Do you enjoy reading and learning about the famous mathematicians? This resource will delight all nonfiction readers with its interesting and fascinating stories about the many great mathematicians throughout the ages. Easy to read, enlightening stories and lots of photographs and illustrations.






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