Scientists » Mathematicians » ARTHUR CAYLEY
|Full name||: Arthur Cayley|
|Alias||: Arthur Cayley|
|Address||: Richmond, Surrey, UK|
|Animals||: The Snake|
|Father||: Henry Cayley|
|Mother||: Maria Antonia Doughty|
|Siblings||: Charles Bagot Cayley|
|Education||: University of Cambridge Trinity College Cambridge King's College School|
Arthur Cayley was a British mathematician who helped founding the British school of pure mathematics. He is most famous for developing the algebra of matrices and non-Euclidean and n-dimensional geometry. Cayley worked primarily with algebra and published several papers on mathematics. Even as a child, Cayley loved solving mathematical problems. He enjoyed the subject and was also an avid reader. He pursued his studies at Trinity College, Cambridge, and entered the field of mathematics. Cayley was the first person to figure out that Euclidean geometry was a special case of projective geometry. He also dipped into the field of astronomy and mechanics. He was motivated and inspired by Karl Jacobi and wrote a book called ‘An Elementary Treatise on Elliptic Functions’ based on these studies. Cayley was also fluent in French, German, Greek and Italian. He hypothesized the Cayley–Hamilton theorem, and his legacy leaves behind many such works including the Cayley's theorem, Cayley algebra and even Cayley's Ù process. Read further to know more about this genius.
Cayley was born in Richmond, England on 16th August 1821 to Henry Cayley and Maria Antonia Doughty. His brother Charles Bagot Cayley was a linguist. His father, a merchant, settled with his family in Saint Petersburg. For the first eight years, Cayley grew up in Germany. In 1829 they moved back to England and settled in Blackheath, near London.
Cayley was sent to a private school for four years, and even at his young age, he had an affinity for mathematics. At the age of fourteen, he was sent to King’s College School. His genius in mathematics was duly noted and his teacher told him to pursue mathematics instead of falling into his father’s footsteps. In 1838, at the tender age of seventeen, Cayley began learning at Trinity College, Cambridge. He finished his undergraduate course with honours, in 1842. He was awarded the ‘Senior Wrangler’ in ‘Mathematical Tripos’ and first place in the competition for the ‘Smith Prizes’. After this, he continued his studies by taking up an M.A. degree and won a fellowship. He resided in Cambridge after winning a Fellowship. During this period, he gave lectures on mathematics. His first contribution was made in 1841, to the ‘Cambridge Mathematical Journal’ established by Gregory and Robert Leslie Ellis. He submitted three papers on subjects based on reading the ‘Mécanique analytique of Lagrange’ and some of the works of ‘Laplace’. His main works, however, were the twenty-eight memoirs to the ‘Mathematical Journal’.