Anders Johan Lexell

Mathematician, Academic

1740 – 1784


Who was Anders Johan Lexell?

Anders Johan Lexell was a Finnish-Swedish astronomer, mathematician, and physicist who spent most of his life in Russia, where he is known as Andrei Ivanovich Leksel.

Lexell made important discoveries in polygonometry and celestial mechanics; the latter led to a comet named in his honour. La Grande Encyclopédie states that he was the prominent mathematician of his time who contributed to spherical trigonometry with new and interesting solutions, which he took as a basis for his research of comet and planet motion. His name was given to a theorem of spherical triangles.

Lexell was one of the most prolific members of the Russian Academy of Sciences at that time, having published 66 papers in 16 years of his work there. A statement attributed to Leonhard Euler expresses high approval of Lexell's works: "Besides Lexell, such a paper could only be written by D'Alambert or me". Daniel Bernoulli also praised his work, writing in a letter to Johann Euler "I like Lexell's works, they are profound and interesting, and the value of them is increased even more because of his modesty, which adorns great men".

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Dec 24, 1740
Also known as
  • Andrei Ivanovich Leksel
  • Лексель, Андрей Иванович
  • Russia
  • Sweden
  • Russian Empire
  • Finland
Lived in
  • Sweden
Dec 11, 1784
Saint Petersburg

on July 23, 2013


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