# Mathematical Papers of George Green

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*N. M. Ferrers*

AMS Chelsea Publishing: An Imprint of the American Mathematical Society

From the Preface: “[T]he mathematical writings of the late George Green … have also an interest as being the work of an almost entirely self-taught mathematical genius … [T]he first paper, which is also the longest and perhaps the most important, was published by subscription at Nottingham in 1828. It was in this paper that the term potential was first introduced to denote the result obtained by adding together the masses of all the particles of a system, each divided by its distance from a given point … The next paper, ‘On the Laws of the Equilibrium of Fluids analagous to the Electric Fluid,’ was laid before the Cambridge Philosophical Society by Sir Edward Ffrench Bromhead, in 1832 … ‘On the Motion of Waves in a Variable Canal Small Depth and Width,’ though short, is interesting … On Dec. 11, 1837, were communicated two of his most valuable memoirs, ‘On the Reflexion and Refraction of Sound,’ and ‘On the Reflexion and Refraction of Light at the Common Surface of Two Non-crystallized Media.’ These two papers should be studied together … [the latter] is to do for the theory of light what in the former paper has been done for that of sound … In ‘On the Propagation of Light in Crystalline Media,’ the principle of Conservation of Work is again assumed as a starting point and applied to a medium of any description … ‘On the Vibrations of Pendulums in Fluid Media,’ … The problem here considered is that of the motion of an inelastic fluid agitated by the small vibrations of a solid ellipsoid, moving parallel to itself.”

#### Reviews & Endorsements

Green's papers present a remarkable awareness of the state of development of [electromagnetism when] it was on the exciting frontier of experimental and theoretical physics. He tells us clearly what had been done before and by whom and why his methods are more powerful. Green's … method has continued to be applied to ever more diverse fields … These papers can easily and usefully be read by undergraduate students … who often lose track of motivation in the midst of modern elegance.

-- American Scientist