Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Sundman, Karl Frithiof

  • Raimo Lehti
Reference work entry

BornKaskinen, Finland, 25 October 1873

DiedHelsinki, Finland, 28 September 1949

Karl Sundman is most widely remembered for his analytic solution to the so-called three-body problem and for his design of an analog computer, which was planned to perform the power series calculations needed for modeling planetary perturbations. He was the son of custom-house officer Johan Frithiof Sundman and Adolfina Fredrika Rosenqvist. His parents attempted to train him as a fisherman, but the boy was interested in academic learning and prepared privately for admission to the Imperial Alexander University at Helsinki. There, he studied mathematics and physical sciences (1893–1897) and also assisted in the bureau for stellar photography at the local astronomical observatory. From 1897 to 1899, Sundman studied at the Pulkovo Observatory, where he examined the orbital motions of the minor planets. His doctoral dissertation (1901) addressed the perturbations of minor planets having a mean motion twice that...

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Selected References

  1. Barrow-Green, June (1997). Poincaré and the Three Body Problem. Providence, Rhode Island: American Mathematical Society and London Mathematical Society.MATHGoogle Scholar
  2. Järnefelt, Gustav (1950). “Karl F. Sundman In Memoriam.” Acta Mathematica 83, nos. 3–4: i–vi.MathSciNetMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Lehti, Raimo (2001). “Karl Frithiof Sundman, forskare i himmelsmekanik, I-II.” Normat: Nordisk matematisk tidskrift 49: 7–20, 71–88.MATHGoogle Scholar
  4. Schalén, C. (1976). “Sundman, Karl Frithiof.” In Dictionary of Scientific Biography, edited by Charles Coulston Gillispie. Vol. 13, pp. 153–154. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raimo Lehti
    • 1
  1. 1.Helsinki University of TechnologyTekniska HögskolanSweden