Arthur Cayley
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Arthur Cayley  

Portrait in London by
Barraud & Jerrard 

Born  Richmond, Surrey, UK 
16 August 1821
Died  26 January 1895 Cambridge, England 
(aged 73)
Residence  England 
Nationality  British 
Fields  Mathematics 
Institutions  Trinity College, Cambridge 
Education  King's College School 
Alma mater  Trinity College, Cambridge (BA, 1842) 
Academic advisors  George Peacock William Hopkins 
Notable students  H. F. Baker Andrew Forsyth Charlotte Scott 
Known for  Algebraic geometry Group theory Cayley–Hamilton theorem Cayley–Dickson construction 
Notable awards  Smith's Prize (1842) De Morgan Medal (1884) Royal Medal (1859) Copley Medal (1882) 
Arthur Cayley F.R.S. (/ˈkeɪli/; 16 August 1821 – 26 January 1895) was a British mathematician. He helped found the modern British school of pure mathematics.
As a child, Cayley enjoyed solving complex maths problems for amusement. He entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where he excelled in Greek, French, German, and Italian, as well as mathematics. He worked as a lawyer for 14 years.
He postulated the Cayley–Hamilton theorem—that every square matrix is a root of its own characteristic polynomial, and verified it for matrices of order 2 and 3.^{[1]} He was the first to define the concept of a group in the modern way—as a set with a binary operation satisfying certain laws.^{[2]} Formerly, when mathematicians spoke of "groups", they had meant permutation groups. Cayley's theorem is named in honour of Cayley.
Contents
Early years[edit]
Arthur Cayley was born in Richmond, London, England, on 16 August 1821. His father, Henry Cayley, was a distant cousin of Sir George Cayley the aeronautics engineer innovator, and descended from an ancient Yorkshire family. He settled in Saint Petersburg, Russia, as a merchant. His mother was Maria Antonia Doughty, daughter of William Doughty. According to some writers she was Russian, but her father's name indicates an English origin. His brother was the linguist Charles Bagot Cayley. Arthur spent his first eight years in Saint Petersburg. In 1829 his parents were settled permanently at Blackheath, near London. Arthur was sent to a private school. At age 14 he was sent to King's College School. The school's master observed indications of mathematical genius and advised the father to educate his son not for his own business, as he had intended, but to enter the University of Cambridge.
Education[edit]
At the unusually early age of 17 Cayley began residence at Trinity College, Cambridge. The cause of the Analytical Society had now triumphed, and the Cambridge Mathematical Journal had been instituted by Gregory and Robert Leslie Ellis. To this journal, at the age of twenty, Cayley contributed three papers, on subjects that had been suggested by reading the Mécanique analytique of Lagrange and some of the works of Laplace.
Cayley's tutor at Cambridge was George Peacock and his private coach was William Hopkins. He finished his undergraduate course by winning the place of Senior Wrangler, and the first Smith's prize.^{[3]} His next step was to take the M.A. degree, and win a Fellowship by competitive examination. He continued to reside at Cambridge University for four years; during which time he took some pupils, but his main work was the preparation of 28 memoirs to the Mathematical Journal.
As a lawyer[edit]
Because of the limited tenure of his fellowship it was necessary to choose a profession; like De Morgan, Cayley chose law, and at age 25 entered at Lincoln's Inn, London. He made a specialty of conveyancing. It was while he was a pupil at the bar examination that he went to Dublin to hear Hamilton's lectures on quaternions.^{[4]}
His friend J. J. Sylvester, his senior by five years at Cambridge, was then an actuary, resident in London; they used to walk together round the courts of Lincoln's Inn, discussing the theory of invariants and covariants. During this period of his life, extending over fourteen years, Cayley produced between two and three hundred papers.^{[4]}
As a professor[edit]
At Cambridge University the ancient professorship of pure mathematics is denominated by the Lucasian, and is the chair that had been occupied by Isaac Newton. Around 1860, certain funds bequeathed by Lady Sadleir to the University, having become useless for their original purpose, were employed to establish another professorship of pure mathematics, called the Sadleirian. The duties of the new professor were defined to be "to explain and teach the principles of pure mathematics and to apply himself to the advancement of that science." To this chair Cayley was elected when 42 years old. He gave up a lucrative practice for a modest salary; but he never regretted the exchange, for the chair at Cambridge enabled him to end the divided allegiance between law and mathematics, and to devote his energies to the pursuit that he liked best. He at once married and settled down in Cambridge. More fortunate than Hamilton in his choice, his home life was one of great happiness. His friend and fellow investigator, Sylvester, once remarked that Cayley had been much more fortunate than himself; that they both lived as bachelors in London, but that Cayley had married and settled down to a quiet and peaceful life at Cambridge; whereas he had never married, and had been fighting the world all his days.
At first the teaching duty of the Sadleirian professorship was limited to a course of lectures extending over one of the terms of the academic year; but when the University was reformed about 1886, and part of the college funds applied to the better endowment of the University professors, the lectures were extended over two terms. For many years the attendance was small, and came almost entirely from those who had finished their career of preparation for competitive examinations; after the reform the attendance numbered about fifteen. The subject lectured on was generally that of the memoir on which the professor was for the time engaged.
The other duty of the chair — the advancement of mathematical science — was discharged in a handsome manner by the long series of memoirs that he published, ranging over every department of pure mathematics. But it was also discharged in a much less obtrusive way; he became the standing referee on the merits of mathematical papers to many societies both at home and abroad.
In 1872 he was made an honorary fellow of Trinity College, and three years later an ordinary fellow, which meant stipend as well as honour. About this time his friends subscribed for a presentation portrait. Maxwell wrote an address to the committee of subscribers who had charge of the Cayley portrait fund. The verses refer to the subjects investigated in several of Cayley's most elaborate memoirs; such as, Chapters on the Analytical Geometry of dimensions; On the theory of Determinants; Memoir on the theory of Matrices; Memoirs on skew surfaces, otherwise Scrolls; On the delineation of a Cubic Scroll, etc.^{[5]}
In addition to his work on algebra, Cayley made fundamental contributions to algebraic geometry. Cayley and Salmon discovered the 27 lines on a cubic surface. Cayley constructed the Chow variety of all curves in projective 3space.^{[6]} He founded the algebrogeometric theory of ruled surfaces.
In 1876 he published a Treatise on Elliptic Functions. He took great interest in the movement for the University education of women. At Cambridge the women's colleges are Girton and Newnham. In the early days of Girton College he gave direct help in teaching, and for some years he was chairman of the council of Newnham College, in the progress of which he took the keenest interest to the last.
In 1881 he received from the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, where Sylvester was then professor of mathematics, an invitation to deliver a course of lectures. He accepted the invitation, and lectured at Baltimore during the first five months of 1882 on the subject of the Abelian and Theta Functions.
In 1893 Cayley became a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.^{[7]}
BAE[edit]
In 1883 Cayley was President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. The meeting was held at Southport, in the north of England. As the President's address is one of the great popular events of the meeting, and brings out an audience of general culture, it is usually made as little technical as possible. Cayley (1996) took for his subject the Progress of Pure Mathematics.
The Collected Papers[edit]
In 1889 the Cambridge University Press requested him to prepare his mathematical papers for publication in a collected form—a request which he appreciated very much. They are printed in magnificent quarto volumes, of which seven appeared under his own editorship. While editing these volumes, he was suffering from a painful internal malady, to which he succumbed on 26 January 1895, in the 74th year of his age. When the funeral took place, a great assemblage met in Trinity Chapel, comprising members of the University, official representatives of Russia and America, and many of the most illustrious philosophers of Britain.
The remainder of his papers were edited by Andrew Forsyth, his successor in the Sadleirian Chair. The Collected Mathematical papers number thirteen quarto volumes, and contain 967 papers. Cayley retained to the last his fondness for novelreading and for travelling. He also took special pleasure in paintings and architecture, and he practiced watercolor painting, which he found useful sometimes in making mathematical diagrams.
Legacy[edit]
Cayley is buried in the Mill Road cemetery, Cambridge.
An 1874 portrait of Cayley by Lowes Cato Dickinson and an 1884 portrait by William Longmaid are in the collection of Trinity College, Cambridge.^{[8]}
A number of mathematical terms are named after him:
 Cayley's theorem
 Cayley–Hamilton theorem in linear algebra
 Cayley–Bacharach theorem
 Grassmann–Cayley algebra
 Cayley–Menger determinant
 Cayley diagrams – used for finding cognate linkages in mechanical engineering
 Cayley–Dickson construction
 Cayley algebra (Octonion)
 Cayley graph
 Cayley numbers
 Cayley's sextic
 Cayley table
 Cayley–Purser algorithm
 Cayley's formula
 Cayley–Klein metric
 Cayley–Klein model of hyperbolic geometry
 Cayley's Ω process
 Cayley surface
 Cayley transform
 Cayley's nodal cubic surface
 Cayley's ruled cubic surface
 The crater Cayley on the Moon (and consequently the Cayley Formation, a geological unit named after the crater)
 Cayley's mousetrap — a card game
 Cayleyan
 Chasles–Cayley–Brill formula
 Quippian
Bibliography[edit]
 Cayley, Arthur (2009) [1876], An elementary treatise on elliptic functions, Cornell University Library, ISBN 9781112280061, MR 0124532
 Cayley, Arthur (2009) [1889], The Collected Mathematical Papers, Cambridge Library Collection – Mathematics, 14 volumes, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9781108005074, archive
 Cayley, Arthur (1894), The principles of bookkeeping by double entry, Cambridge University Press
See also[edit]
References[edit]
 ^ See Cayley (1858) "A Memoir on the Theory of Matrices", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 148 : 24 : "I have verified the theorem, in the next simplest case, of a matrix of the order 3, … but I have not thought it necessary to undertake the labour of a formal proof of the theorem in the general case of a matrix of any degree."
 ^ Cayley (1854) "On the theory of groups, as depending on the symbolic equation θ^{n} = 1," Philosophical Magazine, 4th series, 7 (42) : 40–47. However, see also the criticism of this definition in: MacTutor: The abstract group concept.
 ^ "Cayley, Arthur (CLY838A)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
 ^ ^{a} ^{b} Forsyth, Andrew Russell (1901). "Cayley, Arthur". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
 ^ "To the Committee of the Cayley Portrait Fund", 1874
 ^ A. Cayley, Collected Mathematical Papers, Cambridge (1891), v. 4, 446−455. W. V. D. Hodge and D. Pedoe, Methods of Algebraic Geometry, Cambridge (1952), v. 2, p. 388.
 ^ "A. Cayley (1821  1895)". Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 19 April 2016.
 ^ "Trinity College, University of Cambridge". BBC Your Paintings.
Sources[edit]
 Cayley, Arthur (1996) [1883], "Presidential address to the British Association", in Ewald, William, From Kant to Hilbert: a source book in the foundations of mathematics. Vol. I, II, Oxford Science Publications, The Clarendon Press Oxford University Press, pp. 542–573, ISBN 9780198532712, MR 1465678, Reprinted in collected mathematical papers volume 11
 Crilly, Tony (1995), "A Victorian Mathematician: Arthur Cayley (1821–1895)", The Mathematical Gazette, The Mathematical Association, 79 (485): 259–262, doi:10.2307/3618297, ISSN 00255572, JSTOR 3618297
 Crilly, Tony (2006), Arthur Cayley. Mathematician laureate of the Victorian age, Johns Hopkins University Press, ISBN 9780801880117, MR 2284396
 Macfarlane, Alexander (2009) [1916], Lectures on Ten British Mathematicians of the Nineteenth Century, Mathematical monographs, 17, Cornell University Library, ISBN 9781112283062 (complete text at Project Gutenberg)
External links[edit]
Wikisource has original works written by or about: Arthur Cayley 
 O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Arthur Cayley", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.
 Arthur Cayley at the Mathematics Genealogy Project
 Weisstein, Eric W. (ed.). "Cayley, Arthur (1821–1895)". ScienceWorld.
 Arthur Cayley Letters to Robert Harley, 1859–1863. Available online through Lehigh University's I Remain: A Digital Archive of Letters, Manuscripts, and Ephemera.
 Salmon, George (20 September 1883). "Science Worthies. XXII.—Arthur Cayley". Nature. 28: 481–485. doi:10.1038/028481a0.
 Scott, Charlotte Angas (1895). "Arthur Cayley. Born August 16th, 1831. Died January 26th, 1895". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 1 (6): 133–141. MR 1557369.
 1821 births
 1895 deaths
 19thcentury British mathematicians
 Group theorists
 Algebraic geometers
 Graph theorists
 People educated at King's College School, Wimbledon
 Newnham College, Cambridge
 Alumni of Trinity College, Cambridge
 Fellows of Trinity College, Cambridge
 Fellows of the Royal Society
 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
 Members of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
 Members of the Prussian Academy of Sciences
 Members of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
 Presidents of the British Science Association
 Presidents of the Royal Astronomical Society
 Recipients of the Copley Medal
 Royal Medal winners
 De Morgan Medallists
 Magic squares
 Senior Wranglers