Royal Society Publishing

The contributions of J.J. Sylvester, F.R.S., to mechanics and mathematical physics

I. Grattan-Guinness


A survey is made of the papers written by J.J. Sylvester (1814–1897) on mechanics and mathematical physics. Some relate to aspects of his professional career. They form only a small part of the output of this largely pure mathematician, but are of variety and intrinsic merit. Their limited total exemplifies the limited measure of interest that physical applications sustained among some mathematicians during a period when the preference for pure mathematics was increasing worldwide.