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Book Chapter

Green, George

Published:
January 01, 2007

Abstract

Although Green left school at an early age to work in his father’s bakery, he had probably already developed an interest in mathematics that was fostered by Robert Goodacre, the leading private schoolmaster of Nottingham and author of a popular arithmetic textbook. Virtually self-taught, Green acquired his knowledge of mathematics through extensive reading. Many of the works he studied were available in Nottingham at the Bromley House Subscription Library, which he joined in 1823. By that time the family had moved to Sneinton, a suburb, where his father had established a successful milling business; Green used the top story of the mill as a study.

Green’s most important work, An Essay on the Application of Mathematical Analysis to the Theories of Electricity and Magnetism, was published by subscription in March 1828. Apparently, almost all of the fifty-two subscribers were patrons and friends of Green’s; a local baronet, Edward Ffrench Bromhead of Thurlby, assisted Green later but was not an early promoter. Until other evidence is available, one can only conjecture that Green’s supporters included some of the leading members of the Bromley House Library; the list of subscribers suggests only limited circulation outside Nottingham.

In the preface Green indicated that his “limited sources of information” preventing his giving a proper historical sketch of the mathematical theory of electricity, and indeed, he cites few sources. Among them are Cavendish’s single-fluid theoretical study of electricity of 1771, two memoirs by Poisson of 1812 on surface electricity and three on magnetism (1821–1823), and contributions by Arago, Laplace, Fourier, Cauchy, and T. Young. The preface concludes with a request that the work be read with indulgence, in view of the limitations of the author’s education.

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Contents

Society of Exploration Geophysicists Geophysics Reprint Series

Classics of Elastic Wave Theory

Michael A. Pelissier
Michael A. Pelissier
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Henning Hoeber
Henning Hoeber
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Norbert van de Coevering
Norbert van de Coevering
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Ian F. Jones
Ian F. Jones
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
24
ISBN electronic:
9781560801931
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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