'Science and Hypothesis'
By Jules Henri Poincare (Author)
Nontechnical essays on hypothesis in physical theory, concept of number, magnitude, force, intuition vs. logic, more. Chapters include "On the Nature of Mathematical Reasoning," "Mathematical Magnitude and Experiment," "Non-Euclidean Geometries," "Space and Geometry," "Experiment and Geometry," The Classical Mechanics," "Energy and Thermo-Dynamics," "Hypotheses in Physics," and "The Calculus of Probabilities."
Jules Henri Poincaré (French:29 April 1854 – 17 July 1912) was a French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and a philosopher of science. He is often described as a polymath, and in mathematics as The Last Universalist by Eric Temple Bell, since he excelled in all fields of the discipline as it existed during his lifetime.
As a mathematician and physicist, he made many original fundamental contributions to pure and applied mathematics, mathematical physics, and celestial mechanics. He was responsible for formulating the Poincaré conjecture, which was one of the most famous unsolved problems in mathematics until it was solved in 2002–2003. In his research on the three-body problem, Poincaré became the first person to discover a chaotic deterministic system which laid the foundations of modern chaos theory. He is also considered to be one of the founders of the field of topology.
Poincaré made clear the importance of paying attention to the invariance of laws of physics under different transformations, and was the first to present the Lorentz transformations in their modern symmetrical form. Poincaré discovered the remaining relativistic velocity transformations and recorded them in a letter to Dutch physicist Hendrik Lorentz (1853–1928) in 1905. Thus he obtained perfect invariance of all of Maxwell's equations, an important step in the formulation of the theory of special relativity. The Poincaré group used in physics and mathematics was named after him.