MOIVRE, Abraham de

Abraham de Moivre (1667-1754) was a French mathematician who pioneered the development of analytic trigonometry and the theory of probability. He was known for ‘de Moivre’s formula’, a formula that links complex numbers and trigonometry.

He first discovered Binet’s formula, the expression for Fibonacci numbers linking the nth power of the golden ratio φ to the nth Fibonacci number. He was imprisoned for his faith after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, but was released and fled to London. There he became a close friend of Sir Isaac Newton and the astronomer Edmund Halley.

De Moivre was elected to the Royal Society of London in 1697 and later to the Paris and Berlin Academies.

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