2010;
168 pp;
Softcover

MSC: Primary 01;

Print ISBN: 978-0-8218-5166-1

Product Code: MBK/76

List Price: $31.00

Individual Member Price: $24.80

**Electronic ISBN: 978-1-4704-1608-9
Product Code: MBK/76.E**

List Price: $31.00

Individual Member Price: $24.80

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#### Supplemental Materials

# The Intrinsic Nature of Things: The Life and Science of Cornelius Lanczos

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*Barbara Gellai*

This book recounts the extraordinary personal journey and scientific story
of Hungarian-born mathematician and physicist Cornelius Lanczos. His life
and his mathematical accomplishments are inextricably linked, reflecting
the social upheavals and historical events that shaped his odyssey in
20th-century Hungary, Germany, the United States, and Ireland.

In his life Lanczos demonstrated a remarkable ability to be at the right
place, or work with the right person, at the right time. At the start of
his scientific career in Germany he worked as Einstein's assistant for one
year and stayed in touch with him for years thereafter. Reacting to
anti-Semitism in Germany in the 1930s, he moved to the United States,
where he would work on some of the earliest digital computers at the
National Bureau of Standards. After facing suspicion of Communist
sympathies during the McCarthy era in the 1950s, Lanczos would relocate
once again, joining Schrödinger at the Dublin Institute for Advanced
Studies. Gellai's biography analyzes a rich life and a body of work that
reaches across many scientific disciplines.

Lanczos made important contributions to several areas of mathematics and
mathematical physics. His first major contribution was an exact solution
of the Einstein field equations for gravity (in general relativity). He
worked out the Fast Fourier Transform, but since there were no machines on
which to run it, this accomplishment would be forgotten for 25 years. Once
he had access to computers, Lanczos independently rediscovered what is now
known as the singular value decomposition, a fundamental tool in numerical
methods. Other significant contributions included an important discovery
about the Weyl tensor, which is now known as the Lanczos potential, and an
important contribution on algorithms for finding eigenvalues of large
matrices.

#### Table of Contents

# Table of Contents

## The Intrinsic Nature of Things: The Life and Science of Cornelius Lanczos

- Cover Cover11 free
- Title page iii4 free
- Contents vii8 free
- Preface xi12 free
- Background 118 free
- Family and basic studies 522
- A change in our world view: The theory of relativity 1128
- Higher studies 1734
- Lanczos’s early research in the theory of relativity 2340
- Contribution to quantum mechanics 3148
- Purdue beginnings 4562
- The educator 5572
- “Why mathematics?” 6784
- Ripples on the old pond’s surface 7390
- The Lanczos Method 8198
- Full-time research 93110
- Nature’s Pythagorean theorem 105122
- Probing Riemannian space 113130
- Epilogue 125142
- A brief professional chronology of Cornelius Lanczos 129146
- Published papers and books of Cornelius Lanczos 133150
- Bibliography 149166
- Index 163180 free
- Back Cover Back Cover1186

#### Readership

Undergraduates, graduate students, and research mathematicians interested in the life and work of a remarkable mathematician and physicist.