Carlo Somigliana

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Carlo Somigliana
Carlo Somigliana.jpg
Born (1860-09-20)20 September 1860
Como, Italy
Died 20 June 1955(1955-06-20) (aged 94)
Casanova Lanza, Italy
Residence Italy
Nationality Italian
Fields Mathematical physics
Theory of elasticity
Alma mater Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa
Known for Somigliana identity

Carlo Somigliana (20 September 1860 – 20 June 1955) was an Italian mathematician and a classical mathematical physicist faithful to the school of Enrico Betti and Eugenio Beltrami. He made important contributions in elasticity. The Somigliana integral equation for elasticity is the equivalent of Green's formula for potential theory. He is also known for the Somigliana dislocations. His other contributions included seismic wave propagation and gravimetry.[1] Also, one of his ancestors was Alessandro Volta:[2] precisely the great Como physicist was an ancestor of Carlo's mother, Teresa Volta.[3]


Carlo Somigliana began his university study at Pavia, where he was a student of Eugenio Beltrami. Later he transferred to Pisa and had Betti among his teachers, and Volterra among his contemporaries. He graduated from Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa in 1881. In 1887 Somigliana began teaching as an assistant at the University of Pavia. In 1892, as the result of a competition, he was appointed as University Professor of Mathematical Physics. Somigliana was called to Turin in 1903 to become the Chair of Mathematical Physics. He held the post until his retirement in 1935, and moved to live in Milan. During the World War II, his apartment in Milan was destroyed. After the war he retreated to his family villa in Casanova Lanza and stayed active in research until near his death in 1955.

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  1. ^ See paragraph 6.6 of the paper by Chang & Chang (2005), and also Fichera (1979, pp. 17–18).
  2. ^ See the biographical sketch of Tricomi (1962).
  3. ^ According to Fichera (1979, p. 17): this paper sketches also the life and contributions of many Italian scientists working in the theory of elasticity, including Enrico Betti, Eugenio Beltrami, Giacinto Morera, Vito Volterra.

Biographical references[edit]