> "Bill Humphries" <email@example.com> writes:
> > According to this article from The Hindu
> > (http://www.indiaserver.com/thehindu/2000/12/31/stories/13310469.htm) the
> > duel was fought over a matter of politics.
The funny part of that article is:
"Hardy cited as an example Evariste Galois, founder of Group Theory, who
met an untimely end in a duel at the age of twenty. Hardy pointed out that
Galois, like mathematicians Abel who died at 22, and Riemann at 40, had
done his best work by then."
Well, tautologically, yes. Galois did his best work before dying.
But we'll never know if he could have topped himself two years later.
A nice article on this subject is:
"ARE MATHEMATICIANS PAST THEIR PRIME AT 35?
Maybe not, but the idea lingers due to an abundance of young talent"
That might be old bits here, I don't recall.
Galois is a great story in a great time (I'm after Leonardo to play him;
megastars who are put down as shallow love to play misunderstood Romantic
geniuses). But there are many other examples of peopled martyred for
mathematics rather than politics or love.
Abel comes to mind (martyrdom of poverty). If you consider Copernicus a
mathematician, that's a classic. And don't forget Archimedes, whose
martyrdom to math is recounted in at least five different versions:
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