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Danilo Blanusa

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Danilo Blanuša (December 7 1903 - August 8 1987) was a Croatian mathematician, physicist, engineer and a professor at the University of Zagreb.

Blanuša was born in Osijek and attended elementary school in Vienna and Steyer in Austria and gymnasium in Osijek and Zagreb. He studied engineering in both Zagreb and Vienna and also mathematics and physics. His career started in Zagreb where he started to work and lecture. Blanuša was the dean of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing in the 1957-58 school year. He received the Ruđer Bošković prize in 1960.

Mathematics

In mathematics, Blanuša became famous for discovering the second and third known snarks in 1946 (the Petersen graph was the first), triggering a new area of graph theory. These graphs are part of the solution of the 'four color problem', i.e. the proof of the four color theorem. (Snarks were so named by the American mathematician Martin Gardner in 1976, after the mysterious and elusive object of Lewis Carroll's poem The Hunting of the Snark).

Blanuša's most important works were related to isometric immersions of two-dimensional Lobachevsky plane into six-dimensional Euclid ean space and generalizations, in the theory of the special functions (Bessel functions), in differential geometry, and in graph theory. His result are included in the Japanese mathematical encyclopedia Sugaku jiten in Tokyo, (1962) published by Iwanami shoten.

Physics

His works were mostly related to the theory of relativity. He discovered a mistake in relations for absolute heat Q and temperature T in relativistic phenomenological thermodynamics, published by Max Planck in Annalen der Physik in 1908.

  • Q0 and T0 are the corresponding classical values, and a=(1-v2/c2)1/2
                 in the relation     →   Q=Q0a, T=T0a 
                 really should be    →  Q=Q0/a, T=T0/a

This correction was published in Glasnik, the journal relating to mathematics, physics and astronomy in 1947 in article "Sur les paradoxes de la notion d'énergie". It was rediscovered in 1960 and the correction is still wrongly attributed to H. Ott in the mainstream scientific literature.

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