Ferdinand von Lindemann
Ferdinand von Lindemann  

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Carl Louis Ferdinand von Lindemann


Born  Hanover, German Confederation 
April 12, 1852
Died  March 6, 1939 Munich, Germany 
(aged 86)
Residence  Germany 
Nationality  German 
Fields  Mathematician 
Institutions  LudwigMaximiliansUniversität München 
Alma mater  FriedrichAlexanderUniversität ErlangenNürnberg 
Doctoral advisor  C. Felix Klein 
Doctoral students  Charles Hamilton Ashton Franz Fuchs Emil Hilb David Hilbert Martin Kutta Alfred Loewy Hermann Minkowski Oskar Perron Arthur Rosenthal Arnold Sommerfeld Josef Wagner 
Known for  Proving π is a transcendental number 
Carl Louis Ferdinand von Lindemann (April 12, 1852 – March 6, 1939) was a German mathematician, noted for his proof, published in 1882, that π (pi) is a transcendental number, meaning it is not a root of any polynomial with rational coefficients.
Life and education
Lindemann was born in Hanover, the capital of the Kingdom of Hanover. His father, Ferdinand Lindemann, taught modern languages at a Gymnasium in Hanover. His mother, Emilie Crusius, was the daughter of the Gymnasium's headmaster. The family later moved to Schwerin, where young Ferdinand attended school.
He studied mathematics at Göttingen, Erlangen, and Munich. At Erlangen he received a doctorate, supervised by Felix Klein, on nonEuclidean geometry. Lindemann subsequently taught in Würzburg and at the University of Freiburg. During his time in Freiburg, Lindemann devised his proof that π is a transcendental number (see Lindemann–Weierstrass theorem). After his time in Freiburg, Lindemann transferred to the University of Königsberg. While a professor in Königsberg, Lindemann acted as supervisor for the doctoral theses of the now renowned mathematicians David Hilbert, Hermann Minkowski, and Arnold Sommerfeld.
Transcendence proof
In 1882, Lindemann published the result for which he is best known, the transcendence of π. His methods were similar to those used nine years earlier by Charles Hermite to show that e, the base of natural logarithms, is transcendental. Before the publication of Lindemann's proof, it was known that if π was transcendental, then it would be impossible to square the circle by compass and straightedge.
External links
 O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Ferdinand von Lindemann", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>.
 Ferdinand von Lindemann at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
 Lindemann, F. "Über die Zahl π", Mathematische Annalen 20 (1882): pp. 213–225.
 Pages with broken file links
 1852 births
 1939 deaths
 German mathematicians
 19thcentury German mathematicians
 20thcentury German mathematicians
 Number theorists
 People from Hanover
 People from the Kingdom of Hanover
 University of Göttingen alumni
 University of ErlangenNuremberg alumni
 Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich alumni
 University of Königsberg faculty