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Table of Contents
Daniel Bernoulli was a Dutch mathematician and physicist known for his contributions in fluid mechanics, hydrodynamics, and kinetic theory of gases. Aside from physics, Bernoulli also excelled in medicine, mechanics, astronomy, physiology, and oceanography.
See the fact file below for more information on the Daniel Bernoulli or alternatively, you can download our 21-page Daniel Bernoulli worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
EARLY LIFE AND FAMILY
- Born in the city of Groningen, Netherlands on February 8, 1700, Daniel Bernoulli was the second son of Johann Bernoulli, a Swiss mathematician and a qualified medical doctor, and Dorothea Falkner, a noblewoman.
- Mathematics was in their blood; not only his father, but also his uncle (Jacob Bernoulli who discovered the theory of probability) and his two brothers (Nicolaus and Johann II) who became first-rate mathematicians too.
- Although he came from a dynasty of mathematicians, they were prone to rivalry and jealousy.
- Following his uncle Jacob’s death, his father was made chair of mathematics at Basel University. When he was five, they returned to Basel in Switzerland, his parents’ hometown, because of his father’s work.
- Johann Bernoulli had tried to force his son to study business, just like what his father did to him. All of his siblings studied Mathematics but his father planned a different course for him.
- At the age of 13, Daniel was sent to Basel University to earn a degree in philosophy and logic, and obtained his baccalaureate examinations in 1715. While studying philosophy, he began learning calculus from his father and older brother, Nicolaus. He earned his master’s degree in 1716.
- Despite his burning passion for mathematics, his father wanted him to become a doctor, so he made him study medicine at Heidelberg in 1718, Strasbourg in 1719, and sent him back to Basel University to complete his doctorate in 1720, with a doctoral dissertation on mechanics of breathing.
- After his medical studies in 1721, he applied for a chair at Basel University but ended up failing to obtain the academic post and moved to Venice to study practical medicine in 1723. Despite visiting patients and working in hospitals, he still could not abandon his love for mathematics.
- In 1724, with the help of Christian Goldbach, a German mathematician who studied law, Daniel published his first mathematical work Exercitationes (Mathematical Exercises), which contained contributions to probability theory, fluid mechanics, differential equations, and geometry.
- In 1725, he was invited by Catherine I, Empress of Russia, to become a professor of mathematics at the Imperial Academy in St. Petersburg. To secure his position, the empress also offered a second chair to his brother, Nicolaus.
- Unfortunately, Nicolaus died of tuberculosis eight months after they reached St. Petersburg. Daniel thought of going back to Basel but his father sent Leonhard Euler to cheer him up and keep him company as his assistant.
- Daniel and Euler teamed up, with the latter inspiring Bernoulli to do better in his career.
- After a temporary illness, he resigned from work and went back to Basel. He became a professor of botany and anatomy at the University of Basel in 1732, then taught physiology in 1743.
- He was appointed to the chair of physics in 1750, serving for 26 years.
AS A PHYSICIST
- In 1738, Daniel worked on Hydrodynamica, discussing the basis of the kinetic theory of gases, particularly fluid flow, pressure, density, and velocity. This is his most important work.
- He published papers about the mechanics of vibrating strings. He and Euler worked on elasticity as well as the Euler-Bernoulli beam theorem, a model for how beams behave in different forces and bending.
- Bernoulli’s theorem in hydrodynamics states that the total mechanical energy of a flowing fluid (energy associated with fluid pressure, gravitational potential energy of elevation, and kinetic energy of fluid motion) remains constant.
- He also established the basis of kinetic theory of gases and heat – the impact of molecules on a surface explains pressure, and that random motion of molecules, pressure, and motion increases with temperature.
- He is also known for the Bernoulli Effect, which states that when the speed of the flowing fluid increases, its pressure decreases. This phenomenon is usually the reason why aircraft wings provide lift.
AS AN ECONOMIST AND STATISTICIAN
- He also wrote the Specimen theoriae novae de mensura sortis (Exposition of a New Theory on the Measurement of Risk), using geometric mean of data to assess and minimize risk.
- His paper discussed the difference between wealth and utility, influencing and affecting economic theory, evolutionary biology, and behavioral ecology.
- Not only did his father try to map his career for him, but he also selected his son’s soon-to-be-wife.
- Unfortunately, Daniel was too dedicated to his works and never married nor had any children, respecting the simplicity of life and valuing his freedom.
- In 1738, Hydrodynamica was published, but a year later, his father published Hydraulica, copying most of his son’s works and making it seem that Daniel had based Hydrodynamica on his book, editing the date of publication to 1732 instead of 1739.
- Although most of Daniel’s family were jealous of him, he still valued them and tried to mend their relationships. He described himself in the introduction of Hydrodynamica as “Daniel Bernoulli, son of Johann”; he even collaborated with his younger brother when doing research.
- Between 1725 and 1749, Daniel received 10 prizes from the Paris Academy of Sciences for his contribution to astronomy and nautical topics.
- In 1735, Daniel and his father were named joint winners by the University of Paris for their work on planetary orbits; however, because of his father’s jealousy, he was thrown out of their house and destroyed their relationship.
- Daniel and Euler won an award from the French Academy in 1740 for their work on Newton’s theory of the tides.
- In May 1750, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.
- Street names were also named after him, such as Rue Bernoulli in the 8th Arrondissement, Paris.
Daniel Bernoulli Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Daniel Bernoulli across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Daniel Bernoulli worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Daniel Bernoulli who was a Dutch mathematician and physicist known for his contributions in fluid mechanics, hydrodynamics, and kinetic theory of gases. Aside from physics, Bernoulli also excelled in medicine, mechanics, astronomy, physiology, and oceanography.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Daniel Bernoulli Facts
- Bernoulli Who?
- Which Field?
- Timeline of Achievements
- The Bernoullis
- Paper Airplane
- Bernoulli’s Principle
- Partners in Science
- Words of Daniel
- Rivalry Over Family
- Design a Book Cover
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