Gregory , James

Gregory , James
(1638–1675) Scottish mathematician and astronomer
Gregory was one of the many 17th-century mathematicians who made important contributions to the development of the calculus, although some of his best work remained virtually unknown until long after his death.
Born at Drumoak, Scotland, he studied mathematics at the University of Padua in about 1665 and produced Vera circuli et hyperbolae quadratura (1667; The True Areas of Circles and Hyperbolas). He was particularly interested in expressing functions as series, and he sketched the beginnings of a general theory. It was Gregory who first found series expressions for the trigonometric functions. He introduced the terms ‘convergent’ and ‘divergent’ for series, and was one of the first mathematicians to begin to grasp the difference between the two kinds. Gregory also gave the first proof of the fundamental theorem of calculus.
In addition to his mathematical work Gregory's interests in astronomy led him to do some valuable practical work in optics. He anticipated Newton by recommending a reflecting telescope in his Optica promota (1663; The Advance of Optics). He realized that refracting telescopes would always be limited by aberrations of various kinds. His solution was to use a concave mirror that reflected (rather than a lens that refracted) to minimize these effects. He solved the problem of the observer by having a hole in the primary mirror through which the light could pass to the observer. However, he was unable to find anyone skilled enough actually to construct the telescope.
Gregory held chairs in mathematics at the University of St. Andrews (1669–74) and the University of Edinburgh (1674–75). He died at the age of 37 shortly after going blind.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gregory, James — ▪ Scottish mathematician and astronomer also spelled  James Gregorie  born November 1638, Drumoak [near Aberdeen], Scot. died October 1675, Edinburgh       Scottish mathematician and astronomer who discovered infinite series representations for a …   Universalium

  • GREGORY, JAMES —    1) inventor of the reflecting telescope, born in Aberdeen; after a three years residence in Padua received the appointment of professor of Mathematics in St. Andrews, which he held from 1669 to 1674, when he was elected to the corresponding… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Gregory, James — ► (1638 75) Matemático y astrónomo escocés. Inventó el telescopio de reflexión …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Gregory James Venables — (born 6 December 1949) is a British Anglican clergyman and the current Primate of the Southern Cone.The son of Dudley James Venables, he was educated at Kingston University, after which he was successively a computer systems officer and a school… …   Wikipedia

  • LeMond,Gregory James — Le·Mond (lə mŏndʹ), Gregory James. Known as “Greg.” Born 1961. American cyclist who won the Tour de France three times (1986, 1989, 1990), the only non European ever to win the event. * * * …   Universalium

  • Gregory — James …   Scientists

  • Gregory (surname) — Gregory is a surname, and may refer to:* Adam Gregory * Alyse Gregory * Andre Gregory * Augustus Gregory, Australian explorer * Benji Gregory * , French physicist, CERN Director General * Bob Gregory * Brad Stephan Gregory * Bud Gregory * Celia… …   Wikipedia

  • James Gregory (Mathematiker) — James Gregory James Gregory (* November 1638 in Drumoak bei Aberdeen; † Oktober 1675 in Edinburgh) war ein schottischer Mathematiker und Astronom. Er fand wesentliche Resultate der Analysis vor oder gleichzeitig mit seinen Zeitgenossen,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James Gregory (Schauspieler) — James Gregory James Gregory (* 23. Dezember 1911 in New York; † 16. September 2002 in Sedona) war ein US amerikanischer Schauspieler. Gregory wurde in der Bronx geboren und wuchs in New Rochelle auf. In der High School wurde er zum …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James Gregory (physician) — James Gregory (January 1753 – 2 April 1821), a Scottish physician, was the eldest son of John Gregory (1724 1773) and Elizabeth Forbes (d. 1761). He was born in Aberdeen.MarriagesHe married twice. His first wife, Mary Ross, died in 1784. They had …   Wikipedia