Jean Marie Constant Duhamel

Born: 5 Feb 1797 in St Malo, France
Died: 29 April 1872 in Paris, France

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Jean-Marie Duhamel was a student at the Ecole Polytechnique and then he became professor there in 1830. He was highly thought of as a teacher of mathematics and is reported to have given very fine lectures.

During the period 1848 until 1851 Duhamel was Director of Studies at the Ecole Polytechnique. From 1851, he again filled the analysis chair at the Ecole Polytechnique. Also from 1851 he was professor at the Faculté des Sciences in Paris.

Duhamel worked on partial differential equations and applied his methods to the theory of heat, to rational mechanics and to acoustics. His acoustical studies involved vibrating strings and the vibration of air in cylindrical and conical pipes. His techniques in the theory of heat were mathematically similar to Fresnel's work in optics.

His theory of the transmission of heat in crystal structures was based on work of Fourier and Poisson. 'Duhamel's principle' in partial differential equations arose from his work on the distribution of heat in a solid with a variable boundary temperature.

Duhamel was elected to the Académie des Sciences in 1840.

References (4 books/articles)

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JOC/EFR February 1997