Luther P. Eisenhart

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Luther Eisenhart)
Jump to: navigation, search


Luther P. Eisenhart
Born (1876-01-13)13 January 1876
York, Pennsylvania
Died 28 October 1965(1965-10-28) (aged 89)
Nationality  American
Fields Mathematics
Institutions Princeton University
Alma mater Johns Hopkins University

Luther Pfahler Eisenhart (13 January 1876 – 28 October 1965) was an American mathematician, best known today for his contributions to semi-Riemannian geometry.


Eisenhart was born in York, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Gettysburg College in 1896. He earned his doctorate in 1900 at Johns Hopkins University, where he was influenced (at long range) by the work of Gaston Darboux and at shorter range by that of Thomas Craig. During the next two decades, Eisenhart's research focused on moving frames after the French school, but around 1921 took a different turn when he became enamored of the mathematical challenges and entrancing beauty of a new theory of gravitation, Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Eisenhart played a central role in American mathematics in the early twentieth century. He served as chairman of the mathematics department at Princeton University and later as Dean of the Graduate School there. He is widely credited with guiding the development in America of the mathematical background needed for the further development of general relativity, through his influential textbooks and his personal interaction with Albert Einstein, Oswald Veblen, and John von Neumann at the nearby Institute for Advanced Study, as well as with gifted students such as Abraham Haskel Taub.

In the early 40s he chaired the "Reference Committee", formed in June 1940 for editors of scientific journals to send the papers submitted to them, in order to check that the papers did not contain results (especially regarding nuclear physics) whose public knowledge could be detrimental to the US war efforts.[1]


  • Eisenhart, Luther Pfahler (1966 (originally pub. 1923)). Transformations of Surfaces (2nd ed.). New York: Chelsea. LCCN 62011699.  Check date values in: |date= (help)[2]
  • Eisenhart, Luther Pfahler (1961 (org. pub. 1933)). Continuous Groups of Transformations. New York: Dover. LCCN 61003361/L.  Check date values in: |date= (help)[3]
  • Eisenhart, Luther Pfahler (1966 (org. pub. 1926)). Riemannian Geometry. Princeton: Princeton University Press. OCLC 5836010.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  • Eisenhart, Luther Pfahler (1939). Coordinate Geometry. 
  • Eisenhart, Luther Pfahler (1940). An introduction to differential geometry, with use of the tensor calculus. Princeton: Princeton University Press. LCCN 41003507. [4]
  • Eisenhart, Luther Pfahler, Non-Riemannian geometry, New York, American Mathematical Society, 1927[5]
  • Eisenhart, Luther Pfahler, A treatise on the differential geometry of curves and surfaces Boston: New York [etc.] Ginn and Company, [c1909].[6]

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Henry Burchard Fine
Dod Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University
Succeeded by
Emil Artin