Cornelius Lanczos

Mathematician, Academic

1893 – 1974

69

Who was Cornelius Lanczos?

Cornelius Lanczos was a Hungarian mathematician and physicist, who was born on February 2, 1893, and died on June 25, 1974.

He was born in Székesfehérvár to Karl Löwy and Adél Hahn.

Lanczos' Ph.D. thesis was on relativity theory. In 1924 he discovered an exact solution of the Einstein field equation, which represents a cylindrically symmetric rigidly rotating configuration of dust particles. This was later rediscovered by Willem Jacob van Stockum and is known today as the van Stockum dust. It is one of the simplest known exact solutions in general relativity, and is regarded as an important example, in part because it exhibits closed timelike curves. Lanczos served as assistant to Albert Einstein during the period of 1928–29.

He did pioneering work along with G.C. Danielson on what is now called the fast Fourier transform, but the significance of his discovery was not appreciated at the time, and today the FFT is credited to Cooley and Tukey.

Working in Washington DC at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards after 1949, Lanczos developed a number of techniques for mathematical calculations using digital computers, including:

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Born
Feb 2, 1893
Székesfehérvár
Religion
  • Judaism
Ethnicity
  • Hungarian people
Nationality
  • Hungary
Profession
Education
  • University of Szeged
Died
Jun 25, 1974
Budapest

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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