Poincaré and the idea of a group

Gray, Jeremy (2012). Poincaré and the idea of a group. Nieuw Archief voor Wiskunde, 13(3) pp. 178–186.

URL: http://www.nieuwarchief.nl/serie5/pdf/naw5-2012-13...


In many different fields of mathematics and physics Poincaré found many uses for the idea of a group, but not for group theory. He used the idea in his work on automorphic functions, in number theory, in his epistemology, Lie theory (on the so-called Campbell–Baker–Hausdorff and Poincaré–Birkhoff–Witt theorems), in physics (where he introduced the Lorentz group), in his study of the domains of complex functions of several variables, and in his pioneering study of 3-manifolds. However, as a general rule, he seldom appealed to deep results in group theory, and developed no more structural analysis of any group than was necessary to solve a problem. It was usually enough for him that there is a group, or that there are different groups.

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