Histoire des nombres complexes

The book describes the history of complex numbers from their discovery in the 16th century to their full development in the 18th and the 19th centuries. In the first three chapters we can trace the history of complex numbers throughout time. We can see great transformations in mathematics and mathematical thinking from the Renaissance up to the 19th century. We can read impressive ideas from the original works of great mathematicians who created foundations for the future use of complex numbers (including Chuquet, Cardano, Viète, Girard, Wallis, Descartes, Moivre, Wessel, Argand, Gauss and Cauchy). The last chapter shows the algebra in the British Islands, in particular the so called British mathematical school. This chapter contains an analysis of a revolution in algebraic concepts, in notation as well as the birth of modern algebra. There are many interesting quotations from Peacock's, Morgan's, Boole's and Hamilton's articles, textbooks and other works. The detailed bibliography, a list of main symbols in some historical works and the author index are included. The book is written in French and can be recommended to everybody wanting to know more about the history of complex numbers and about British algebra in the 19th century.

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