Mathematician:Peter Guthrie Tait

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Scottish mathematical physicist and early pioneer in thermodynamics.

Best known for the mathematical physics textbook Treatise on Natural Philosophy, which he co-wrote with Sir William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin.

Also known for his early investigations into knot theory.




  • Born: 28 April 1831 in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland
  • 1847: One session at Edinburgh University
  • 1848: Went to Peterhouse College, Cambridge
  • 1852: Fellow and Lecturer at Peterhouse
  • 1854: Professor of Mathematics at Queens College, Belfast
  • 1860: Professorship of Natural Philosophy at University of Edinburgh
  • Died: 4 July 1901 in Edinburgh, Scotland

Theorems and Definitions


Notable Quotes

Even Prof. Gibbs must be ranked as one of the retarders of quaternion progress, in virtue of his pamphlet on Vector Analysis, a sort of hermaphrodite monster compounded of the notations of Hamilton and Grassman.
--Preface to third edition of Elementary Treatise on Quaternions