Icarus betrayed


Icarus betrayed is a tale centred on the figure of Évariste Galois (1811-1832), a unique mathematical genius who came to a tragic end, ergo Icarus. He is universally renowned for his Galois Theory, which has given way to unprecedented algebraic solutions.

Galois was very much ahead of his time and misunderstood by the most eminent mathematicians of the era. Doors were thus closed on him each time he was about to meet someone who may have been able to deduce his exceptional flair in the field of algebra, which was still a little-known and scarcely studied subject at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

At just twenty years old, Galois was a cynic, a rebel, a republican and an anti-clerical. He was a partisan of the July Revolution in 1830 end regularly provoked the monarchy of King Louis Philippe (the French king who reigned during the period after the revolution).

In a sanatorium to which he was transferred in order to protect him from the cholera epidemic that ravaged Paris in 1832, he fell in love with a young girl. Her two brothers, claiming that he had brought dishonour upon their sister, challenged him to a duel.

The day before the duel, knowing he faced certain death, he feverishly and urgently wrote out what he called his secret : the theorem which would revolutionize Algebra and Analysis. The theorem is still a focus in the work of many mathematicians and in the research of various sciences, especially astrophysics.

About the author

Jean-Paul Auffray (ENG)
Jean-Paul Auffray studied physics and mathematics at the University of (...)

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