Leonhard Euler was a Swiss physicist, mathematician, logician, geographer, astronomer, and engineer. He is credited with making influential and important mathematical discoveries, such as graph theory and infinitesimal calculus. Widely regarded as one of the greatest and most prolific mathematicians of all time, Leonhard Euler also made pioneering contributions to analytic number theory and topology.
Born into a family of drug merchants, Jacob Bernoulli was forced to study theology by his father but later deviated to math. He taught math and laid down the Bernoulli’s equation and calculus of variations. Apart from him and his brother, Johann Bernoulli, his family later produced more great mathematicians.
Daniel Bernoulli was a Swiss physicist and mathematician. Born into the popular Bernoulli family of mathematicians, Daniel Bernoulli is renowned for his applications of mathematical equations to mechanics. He is also remembered for his pioneering work in statistics and probability. In 2002, he was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.
Brother and colleague of Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli and part of the famous Bernoulli family of mathematicians, Johann Bernoulli was initially pushed to join his family business of drug and spices. He later took up medicine, eventually deviating to math and contributing to infinitesimal calculus, along with Jacob.
Johann Heinrich Lambert was a Swiss polymath whose contributions to the fields of physics, mathematics, map projections, astronomy, and philosophy are considered important by many scholars. He is credited with introducing hyperbolic functions into trigonometry. He is also credited with inventing a hygrometer, which is used to measure the quantity of water vapor in soil and air.
A close associate of Isaac Newton, Swiss mathematician Nicolas Fatio de Duillier, was, according to many, the reason for Newton’s nervous breakdown after they fell apart. He is best remembered for co-discovering the phenomenon of zodiacal light and for inventing the shadow theory of gravitation.
Swiss mathematician Jakob Steiner is remembered for pioneering the field of projective geometry. Born to a farmer, he didn’t have initial schooling and couldn’t write until age 14. His parents were against his decision to join school at 18. He later rose to be a significant figure of synthetic geometry.
Swiss mathematician Marcel Grossmann was the son of a textile factory manager but became a geometry professor instead of following in his father’s path. He later co-established the Swiss Mathematical Society and collaborated with Albert Einstein on a paper that formed the basis of Einstein’s theory of gravity.
Born to a doctor, Gabriel Cramer showed an interest in math since childhood. He received his doctoral degree at 18 and was named the co-chair of the University of Geneva at 20. Known for his research on algebraic curves, he is also remembered for devising Cramer’s rule and Cramer’s paradox.
Paul Bernays was a Swiss mathematician best remembered for his association with the German mathematician David Hilbert. Bernays is also remembered for making significant contributions to the philosophy of mathematics, axiomatic set theory, and mathematical logic. Paul Bernays is credited with publishing a two-volume work titled Grundlagen der Mathematik, which houses the famous Hilbert–Bernays paradox.
Known as the man who invented logarithms in a study independent of John Napier, Swiss mathematician Joost Bürgi was initially a clockmaker of Duke Wilhelm IV’s court. His geometrical and astronomical instruments made him popular, and he joined the service of Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II.
Swiss mathematician and Princeton professor Armand Borel is remembered as a co-creator of the theory of linear algebraic groups. He also had a strong connection with France, having been a student of French mathematician Jean Leray and having been named a foreign member of the Académie des Sciences.
Apart from teaching at a secondary school, Johann Jakob Balmer also taught geometry at the University of Basel. The Swiss mathematician is best remembered for his Balmer series formula for the hydrogen atom, which was later explained by Niels Bohr. He made a contribution to the field of atomic spectroscopy.
Nicolas Fuss was mathematically gifted and became an assistant to mathematician Leonhard Euler, who needed a secretary after being rendered partially blind due to a surgery. In course of time, he contributed to areas such as spherical trigonometry, differential geometry, and optics. He was also named to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Swiss astronomer Rudolf Wolf initially taught math and physics at the University of Bern and later switched to teaching astronomy. He then joined both the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. Best remembered for his studies on sunspot activity, he established what are now known as Wolf’s sunspot numbers.