What is ... the origin of elliptic functions?

This page hosts information on Barbara Jung's talk "What is ... the the origin of elliptic functions?" at the "What is ...?" seminar. The talk will take place on Friday, November 26, 12:30pm at the BMS Loft at Urania. This talk will help you better understand the talk by Jean Benoît Bost, which will start at 2pm.


Elliptic functions are double-periodic meromorphic functions on C, that means basically

f(a+ib)=f((a+n)+i(b+m)) \qquad \forall a, b \in R,\; n, m \in Z.

So they define a function on a torus. But what has this to do with an ellipse? To find the answer, we go on a journey to the origins of Riemann surfaces in the times of Euler and Lagrange and see the theory beautifully arising from the observation of integrals over some simple curves we already know from school.


The video for Barbara's talk can be found at http://vimeo.com/23045029.



Topic revision: r2 - 12 May 2011, MimiTsuruga
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