Bernoulli, Jakob (Jacques) II

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Bernoulli, Jakob (Jacques) II

(b. Basel, Switzerland, 17 October 1759; d. St. Petersburg, Russia, 15 August 1789)


Jakob II was Johann II’s most gifted son. He graduated in jurisprudence in 1778 but successfully engaged in mathematics and physics. In 1782 he presented a paper (6) to support his candidacy for the chair of his uncle Daniel. The decision (made by drawing lots) was against him, however, and he traveled as secretary of the imperial envoy to Turin and Venice, where he received a call to St. Petersburg. There he married a granddaughter of Euler and published several treatises (2–4) at the Academy. When only thirty years old, he drowned while swimming in the Neva.


Jakob’s writings include (I) “Lettre sur l’élasticité,” in Journal de physique de Rozier, 21 (1782), 463–467; (2) “Considérations hydrostatiques,” in Nova acta Helvetica, 1 , 229–237; (3) “Dilucidationes in Comment. L. Euleri de ictu glandium contra tabulam explosarum,” in Nova acta Petropolitana, 4 (1786), 148–157: (4) “De motu et reactione aquae per tubos mobiles transfluentis,” ibid., 6 (1788), 185–196: (5) “Sur l’usage et la théorie d’une machine, qu’ on puet nommer instrument ballistique,” in Mém. Acad. Berl. (1781), pp. 347–376; and (6) Theses physicae et physicomathematicae quas vacante cathedra physica die 28 Maii 1782 defendere conabitur Jacobus Bernoulli (Basel, 1782).

J. O. Fleckenstein