Switzerland and later died on Sept 18 1783. His father was a pastor and wanted his son to follow in his footsteps and sent him to the University of Basel to prepare
for the ministry but geometry soon became his favorite subject. Through the intercession of Bernoulli Euler
obtained his father’s consent to change his major to mathematics. After failing to obtain a physics position
at Basel in 1726 he joined the St. Petersburg Academy of Science in 1727. When funds were withheld from
the academy he served as a medical lieutenant in the Russian navy from 1727 to 1730. In St. Petersburg he
boarded at the home of Bernoulli’s son Daniel. He became the professor of physics at the academy in 1730
and professor of mathematics in 1733. When he married and left Bernoulli’s house. His reputation grew
after the publication of many articles and his book Mechanica which extensively presented Newtonian
dynamics in the form of mathematical analy!
sis for the first time.
In 1741 Euler joined the Berlin Academy of Science where he remained for 25 years. In 1744 he became
director of the academy’s mathematics section. During his stay in Berlin he wrote over 200 articles, three
books on mathematical analysis, and a scientific popularization Letters to a Princess of Germany. In 1755
he was elected a foreign member of the Paris Academy of Science. During his career he received 12 of its
prestigious biennial prizes. In 1766 Euler returned to Russia, after Catherine the Great had made him a
generous offer. At the time Euler had been having differences with Frederick the Great over academic
freedom and other matters. Frederick was greatly angered at his departure and invited Lagrange to replace
him. In Russia Euler became almost entirely blind after a cataract operation but was able to continue with
his research and writing. He had a huge memory and was able to dictate treatises on optics, algebra, and
lunar motion. At his death in 1783 he left a!
vast backlog of articles. The St. Petersburg Academy continued to publish them for nearly 50 more years.
The things that were happening in the 1700’s were…
English novelist Henry Fielding writes Tom Jones.
The Waltz becomes a popular dance in France.
Benjamin Franklin invents the lightning conductor.
The British meseum is founded in London
Samuel Johnson publishes the dictionary.