AskDefine | Define apery

Dictionary Definition

apery n : the act of mimicking; imitative behavior [syn: mimicry]

Extensive Definition

Roger Apéry (November 14 1916December 18 1994) was a Greek-French mathematician most remembered for Apéry's theorem, that ζ(3) is an irrational number where ζ denotes the Riemann zeta function.
Apéry was born in Rouen in 1916 to a French mother and Greek father. After studies at the École Normale Supérieure (interrupted by a year as prisoner of war during WWII) he was appointed Lecturer at Rennes. In 1949 he was appointed Professor at the University of Caen where he remained until his retirement. He died after a long illness in 1994.
In 1979, he stunned the mathematical world with his unexpected proof of the irrationality of the sum of the inverse of the cubes of integers ζ(3). An indication of the difficulty is that the corresponding problem for other odd powers remains unsolved. Nevertheless, many mathematicians have since worked on the so-called Apéry sequences to seek alternative proofs that might apply to other odd powers (F. Beukers, A. Van Den Poorten, M. Prevost, K. Ball, T. Rivoal, W. Zudillin and others).
Apéry was active in politics and for a few years in the 60's was president of the Calvados Radical Party. He abandoned politics after the reforms instituted by Edgar Faure after the '68 revolt, when he realised that University life was running against the tradition he had always upheld.
apery in German: Roger Apéry
apery in French: Roger Apéry
apery in Italian: Roger Apéry
apery in Japanese: ロジェ・アペリー
apery in Slovenian: Roger Apéry
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