Category: tBC

  • Hasse = “le P. Adique, de l’Ordre des Diophantiens”

    The Bourbaki wedding invitation is probably the most effective branding- and marketing-campaign in the history of mathematics. It contains this, seemingly opaque, paragraph: The trivial isomorphism will be given to them by P. Adic, of the Diophantine Order, at the Principal Cohomology of the Universal Variety, the 3 Cartember, year VI, at the usual hour. […]

  • 16 ways to capture a lion (in 1938)

    A classic among mathematical jokes is the paper in the August/September 1938 issue of the American Mathematical Monthly “A contribution to the mathematical theory of big game hunting” by one Hector Petard of Princeton who would marry, one year later, Nicolas Bourbaki’s daughter Betti. claimtoken-511b561b7a5a2 There are two main sources of information on the story…

  • What’s Pippa got to do with the Bourbaki wedding?

    Last time we’ve seen that on June 3rd 1939, the very day of the Bourbaki wedding, Malraux’ movie ‘L’espoir’ had its first (private) viewing, and we mused whether Weil’s wedding card was a coded invitation to that event. But, there’s another plausible explanation why the Bourbaki wedding might have been scheduled for June 3rd :…

  • What happened on the Bourbaki wedding day?

    Early on in this series we deciphered part of the Bourbaki wedding invitation The wedding was planned on “le 3 Cartembre, an VI” or, for non-Bourbakistas, June 3rd 1939. But, why did they choose that particular day? Because the wedding-invitation-joke was concocted sometime between mid april and mid may 1939, the most probable explanation clearly…

  • Bourbaki and the miracle of silence

    The last pre-war Bourbaki congress, held in september 1938 in Dieulefit, is surrounded by mystery. Compared to previous meetings, fewer documents are preserved in the Bourbaki archives and some sentences in the surviving notules have been made illegible. We will have to determine the exact location of the Dieulefit-meeting before we can understand why this…

  • Who was ‘le P. Adique’?

    Last year we managed to solve the first few riddles of the Bourbaki code, but several mysteries still remain. For example, who was the priest performing the Bourbaki-Petard wedding ceremony? The ‘faire part’ identifies him as ‘le P. Adique, de l’Ordre des Diophantiens’. As with many of these Bourbaki-jokes, this riddle too has several layers.…

  • Where’s Bourbaki’s Escorial?

    Early 1936, Andre Weil and Evelyne Gillet made a pre-honeymooning trip to Spain and visited El Escorial. Weil was so taken by the place that he planned the next Bourbaki-conference to be held in a nearby college. However, the Bourbakis never made it to to Spain that summer as the Spanish Civil War broke out…

  • Seriously now, where was the Bourbaki wedding?

    A few days before Halloween, Norbert Dufourcq (who died december 17th 1990…), sent me a comment, containing lots of useful information, hinting I did get it wrong about the church of the Bourbali wedding in the previous post. Norbert Dufourcq, an organist and student of Andre Machall, the organist-in-charge at the Saint-Germain-des-Prés church in 1939,…

  • Where was the Bourbaki wedding?

    I’m pretty certain I got the intended date & time of the Bourbaki-Pétard wedding right : June 3rd 1939 at 12h. Finding the exact location of the wedding-ceremony is an entirely different matter. And, quite probably, we are reading way too much in these pranks of the Weil-clan. Still, it’s fun trying to find an…

  • the bumpy road to the first Bourbaki congress

    The first Bourbaki congress took eventually place in Besse-en-Chandesse. But, its organization suffered from the ‘usual’ inter-departemental fighting, and also from a power-struggle within the group itself. On many issues de Possel and André Weil were on opposite sides, and it didn’t really help that there was a woman involved… Because Mandelbrojt, de Possel and…