# Mathematician:Peter Barlow

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## Contents

## Mathematician

English mathematician and physicist, famous for his *New Mathematical Tables*, which would be later republished and known as *Barlow's Tables* and become a standard reference work.

Also (disappointingly) notable for his prediction in 1811 that no prime greater than $2^{31} - 1$ would ever be discovered.

Also noted for his work on magnetism and strength of materials.

His incorrect formulation Barlow's law in 1824 appeared to demonstrate that long-distance transmission of electricity was unfeasible, and until it was disproved in 1831 belief in it held back the development of telegraphy for some years.

## Nationality

English

## History

- Born: 15 October 1776, Norwich, England
- 1801 - 1847: Assistant mathematics master at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich
- 1823: Made a Fellow of the Royal Society
- 1824: Formulated the (incorrect) Barlow's law
- 1825: Received Copley Medal
- 1836, 1839, 1842 and 1845: Sat on various railway commissions
- Died: 1 March 1862, Kent, England

## Inventions and Innovations

## Books and Papers

- 1811:
*Elementary Investigation of the Theory of Numbers* - 1814:
*A New Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary* - 1814:
*New Mathematical Tables* - 1817:
*Essay on the strength and stress of timber*