Johann Heinrich Lambert Biography
(Mathematician who Proved that π is Irrational)
Birthday: August 26, 1728 (Virgo)
Born In: Mulhouse, France
Johann Heinrich Lambert was a Swiss mathematician, astronomer, physicist, and philosopher. He is especially well-known for being the first person to provide evidence that ‘Pi’ (ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter), is irrational, which means it cannot be expressed as the quotient of two integers. He was also the one who introduced hyperbolic functions into trigonometry. Lambert is also said to be the first mathematician who addressed the general properties of map projection. His contribution to physics was also immense. The hygrometer, which is an instrument to measure the moisture content in the atmosphere, was invented by him. He also did research on the measurement of light, and published a book on it named ‘Photometria.’ He is also remembered for his contribution to philosophy. He corresponded with Immanuel Kent and though the latter decided to dedicate his work ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ to Lambert, he died before the work was complete. Lambert, as an astronomer, developed a theory about the generation of the universe. It was similar to the nebular hypothesis formed by Thomas Wright and Immanuel Kant.