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Jean Victor Poncelet

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1 July 1788

Metz, Lorraine, France

22 Dec 1867

Paris, France

Presentation Wikipedia
Jean-Victor Poncelet was a pupil of Monge . His development of the pole and polar lines associated with conics led to the principle of duality.

Poncelet took part in Napoleon's 1812 Russian campaign as an engineer. He was left for dead at Krasnoy and imprisoned until 1814 when he returned to France. During his imprisonment he studied projective geometry . He also wrote a treatise on analytic geometry Applications d'analyse et de géométrie based on what he had learnt at the École Polytechnique but it was only published 50 years later.

From 1815 to 1825 he was a military engineer at Metz and from 1825 to 1835 professor of mechanics there. He applied mechanics to improve turbines and waterwheels more than doubling the efficiency of the waterwheel.

Poncelet was one of the founders of modern projective geometry simultaneously discovered by Joseph Gergonne and Poncelet. His development of the pole and polar lines associated with conics led to the principle of duality. He also discovered circular points at infinity.

He published Traité des propriétés projectives des figures in 1822 which is a study of those properties which remain invariant under projection. This work contains fundamental ideas of projective geometry such as the cross-ratio, perspective, involution and the circular points at infinity. While writing this book he consulted with Servois .

Poncelet published Applications d'analyse et de géométrie in two volumes: 1862 and 1864.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland