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Bernauli Brothers.

posted Jun 10, 2015, 11:02 PM by Upali Salpadoru   [ updated Jul 7, 2022, 8:52 PM ]


Daniel Bernauli

 Bernoullis migrated from Holland to Switzerland during the 18th Century.  

Daniels grandfather Nicholas had three sons and made a living by the spice 
trade. He wanted his eldest son to enter the church and the others to follow his trade; yet they disappointed him.

Fig.1 Daniel Bernouli 1700 - 1782

  Jacob drifted to Mathematics and astronomy and inspired the brothers to follow suit. He made a valuable contribution to mathematics with regard to chance occurrences (probability). His Younger brother John, failing in the spice trade entered the University at the age of 16 and studied medicine.  He learned mathematics from his elder brother.  In two years John learned everything Jacob knew. The student did not seem to have been grateful to the teacher, The two brothers vehemently fought for superiority.  John could explain problems which even Sir Isaac Newton could not solve.  Two of them competed for the University chair and the elder one got it by chance. John left the country. He accepted a post in Holland saying he would never come back.

Somehow, when his father in law requested to see his daughter and the grand children he had to concede.  While he was traveling his brother died.  So he took his chair.

  John also had three sons.  Just as his father had done they objected his sons to enter the domain of mathematics, saying there was no money in it.  When he failed to have his way he gave in and started tutoring them. All three soon became brilliant Bernoullis.  

  The second son Daniel   made a lasting impression with regard to fluid flow studies. As he gained in stature the father and son became ace rivals. The duo entered a mathematics contest. When the son did better than the father, the father chased him out of the house and never ever pardoned him.

  The unusual flow of a liquid or a gas, as experienced in the experiment above, can only be explained by using the equation enunciated by Daniel Bernoulli... This has been a boon for all research scientists working on fast moving vehicles and gaining of lift by aeroplanes and jets.


Bernauli Family-Naughty but Brilliant.


Jacob Bernouli (1654 - 1705) 
Johann Bernouli (1667 - 1748)
Daniel Bernoulli (1700 - 1787)

Nicholas Bernoulli migrated from Holland to Switzerland during the 18th Century. 

They were being chased by the Catholics.                             

 Popular Discovery:-Bernouli Principle. 

This helped to design aircraft wings.        

Jacob and Johan, born to a prosperous family of traders and scholars from the city of Basel in Switzerland, against the wishes of their father to take over the family business or to enter respectable professions like medicine or the ministry, they began studying mathematics .They had other siblings too.            


Elder one :- Jacob

Younger one :- Johann.        









1671  Age 17Yrs.

Graduated from the University of Basel with a master's degree in philosophy.


1676.  Age 22Yrs.

A licentiate in theology.


During this time he studied Mathematics and Astronomy against the wishes of his parents.

1683 Age 16Yrs.

Failing in the spice trade entered the University at the and studied medicine. He did not enjoy medicine and learned mathematics from his elder brother Jacob.  

In two years John learned everything Jacob knew.



Graduated from Basel University,

Personal; biography

They developed a rather jealous and competitive relationship.


1681 Age 27Yrs.

He travelled to the Netherlands where he met many mathematicians including Hudde. Continuing his studies with the leading mathematicians and scientists of Europe In England he met Boyle and Hooke.


1684 Age 30Yrs.

He married Judith Stupanus.

It was case of teacher-pupil quarrel. The two brothers vehemently fought for superiority. Two of them competed for the University chair and the elder one won it by chance.


1694  Age 27Yrs.

He married Dorothea Falkner.

John left the country, saying he would never return...


1705  Age 38Yrs.

When his father in law requested to see his daughter and the grand children he had to concede.  


He was jealous of the elder Jacob's position as professor at Basel 


Johann published a book based on his son’s work, even changing the date to make it look as though his book had been published before his son's.


Both had a clear aptitude for mathematics at a high level, and constantly challenged and inspired each other. They established an early correspondence with Gottfried Leibniz, and were among the first mathematicians to not only study and understand infinitesimal calculus but to apply it to various problems.



His book “The Art of Conjecture”, published posthumously consolidated existing knowledge on probability theory and expected values,


His theory of permutations and combinations, Bernoulli trials,

Bernoulli distribution, and number theory, such as the Bernoulli Numbers sequence.


He became the first person to develop the technique for solving separable differential equations His method of describing the location of points in space using angles and distances and was the first to use the word “integral” to refer to the area under a curve.



1676  Age 22Yrs.

After taking his theology degree, he moved to Geneva where he worked as a tutor.

He then travelled to France spending two years studying with the followers of Descartes 

1683 Age 29Yrs.

Taught mechanics at the University in Basel.

1694 Age 27Yrs.

He accepted a post as the professor of mathematics at the University of Groningen in Netherland.


While he was traveling back to Basel his brother died of tuberculosis.

So he took his chair.




Progeny/ Students

Two children, a son who was given his grandfather's name of Nicolaus and a daughter.

A pupil-  Leonhard Euler 

Three sons that became brilliant mathematicians.

Nicolaus II. Daniel & Johann II.


1705 Age 51Yrs.

1748  Age 81Yrs.



His student Guillaume de l'Hôpital published a book in his own name consisting almost entirely of Johann's lectures, including his now famous rule about 0 ÷ 0 (a problem which had dogged mathematicians since Brahmagupta's initial work on the rules for dealing with zero back in the 7th Century).


Three sons of Johann Bernauli.


1St.  child

2nd child

3rd child


  Nicolaus II


Johann II.





Groningen, Netherland



Groningen, Netherland


18- 5-1710

Groningen, Netherland




1711  Age 11Yrs.

He became the pupil of his 16-year-old brother Nicholas.


1713  Age 13Yrs.

He continued his studies in Italy.

He studied Law and Mathematics.


1708 Age 13Yrs.

Entered University of Basel to study law.


Became a licentiate in jurisprudence.


1711 Age 16Yrs.

Gained the  Master's of Philosophy.


1716 Age 21Yrs.


Doctorate in Law.  



1713  Age13 Yrs.

sent to Basel University to study philosophy &logic.

1715  Age 15Yrs.


1716  Age 16Yrs.

Got the Masters.

studied medicine while his father taught him mathematics.  

1718, Age 18Yrs.

studied medicine at Heidelberg and Strasbourg.

1720 Age 20Yrs.

Completed the Doctorate in medicine at Basel.

1724 Age 24Yrs.

Went to Venice to study medicine and received a doctorate in medicine


First mathematical work was published with the support of Goldbach. 

1727 Age 17Yrs.

He obtained the degree of doctor of jurisprudence.





Personal Bio.

Nicolaus worked on curves, differential equations and probability. He died only 8 months after taking up an appointment in St Petersburg at a young age


He enjoyed the friendship of P. L. M. de Maupertuis,


Introduced the problem of trajectories while working on the mathematical arguments behind the dispute between Newton and Leibniz.

Worked on curves, differential equations and probability.

Bernouli Principle. This helped to design aircraft wings.

Worked on mathematics with his father.

He won the Prize of the Paris Academy on four separate occasions..

His prize subjects were, the capstan, the propagation of light, and the magnet


1716 Age 21Yrs.

A private tutor in Venice.


1719  Age 24Yrs.

The Chair in Mathematics at the University of Padua


Appointments to the St Petersburg Academy


1724 -1733


appointmented to  St Petersburg Academy


1733  Age 33Yrs.

Basel University.Taught medicine, metaphysics and natural philosophy until his death.


Appointed to his father's chair in Basel when Johann Bernoulli died



Johann and Jakob, are the last noted mathematicians of the Bernoulli family.



1726 Age 3Yrs.

Contracted a hectic fever and died in St.Petersburg.

1782 Age2Yrs.

1790 Age 80Yrs.