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Julius Peter Christian Petersen (June 16, 1839, Sorø on Zealand – August 5, 1910) was a Danish mathematician.


Petersen's interests in mathematics were manifold (geometry, function theory, number theory, mathematical physics, mathematical economics, cryptography and graph theory). His famous paper Die Theorie der regulären graphs[1] was a fundamental contribution to modern graph theory as we know it today. In 1898, he presented a counterexample to Tait's claimed theorem about 1-factorability of 3-regular graphs, which is nowadays known as the "Petersen Graph".

He published a systematic treatment of geometrical constructions (with straightedge and compass) in 1880. A French translation was reprinted in 1990.

A special issue of Discrete Mathematics has been dedicated to the 150th birthday of Petersen, in which a very precise biography may be found.[2]


1. ^ Petersen, J. (1891). "Die Theorie der regulären graphs". Acta Mathematica 15: 193–220. doi:10.1007/BF02392606.
2. ^ Lützen, J.; Sabidussi, G. and Toft, B. (1992). "Julius Petersen 1839–1910 a biography". Discrete Mathematics 100 (1–3): 9–82. doi:10.1016/0012-365X(92)90636-T.

External links

* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Julius Petersen", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Petersen.html .


Mathematics Encyclopedia

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