Author

John Gonzalez

Publication Date

6-2-1941

Abstract

In mathematics, generalization is progress; so much so that oftentimes one loses sight of the fact that generalization is the result of arduous work in the consideration of the particular. In no other branch of mathematics is this better exemplified than in the Calculus of Variations. The beginning of a systematic development of the theory of the Calculus of Variations really started with the two Bernoulli brothers (1654-1748) in their discussion of the brachistochrone problem in 1696. The method devised by them were sufficiently powerful in the attack of a large number of problems. Euler (1707-85) further elaborated the geometrical analytical method of James Bernoulli and it was Langrange (1736-1813) who made it possible to deduce readily the differential equations of the minimizing curves for very general problems.

Degree Name

Mathematics

Level of Degree

Masters

Department Name

Mathematics & Statistics

First Committee Member (Chair)

Charles B. Barker

Second Committee Member

N/A

Third Committee Member

C.V. Newsom

Language

English

Document Type

Thesis

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