Mathematician:Carl Louis Ferdinand von Lindemann

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German mathematician who made his mark by publishing a proof in $1882$ that $\pi$ is transcendental.

Student of Karl Weierstrass.

Some sources suggest that many feel that the result should have been attributed to Charles Hermite as Lindemann, they feel, was considerably inferior to Hermite, and merely stumbled upon this result, by good luck.

Worked in physics, on the theory of the electron.

Tried fruitlessly to prove Fermat's Last Theorem.

Did considerable research in the history of mathematics.




  • Born: 12 April 1852 in Hannover, Hanover, German Confederation (now Germany)
  • 1873: Awarded Doctorate at Erlangen
  • 1877: Awarded habilitation by the University of Würzburg
  • 1877: Appointed as extraordinary professor at the University of Freiburg
  • 1879: Promoted to ordinary professor at Freiburg
  • 1883: Professor at the University of Königsberg
  • 1893: Accepted a chair at University of Munich
  • 1894: Elected to Bavarian Academy of Sciences as associate member
  • 1895: Elevated to full member of Bavarian Academy of Sciences
  • 1912: Awarded an honorary degree by University of St Andrews
  • Died: 6 March 1939 in Munich, Germany

Theorems and Definitions

Results named for Carl Louis Ferdinand von Lindemann can be found here.


  • 1873: Über unendlich kleine Bewegungen und über Kraftsysteme bei allgemeiner projektivischer Massbestimmung (doctoral thesis)
  • 1882: Über die Zahl (in which $\pi$ is transcendental appears)

Also known as

Usually known as Ferdinand von Lindemann.