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Fellows Directory

Ludwig Edward Fraenkel

Ludwig Edward Fraenkel

Professor Ludwig Edward Fraenkel FRS


Elected: 1993


Edward Fraenkel was a mathematician who conducted valuable research in the field of hydrodynamics — the study of liquids in motion. He was internationally renowned for his theoretical expertise as well as for offering deep insight into the practical applications of his work.

He tackled numerous problems in the field, most famous of which is the so-called Stokes conjecture for the wave of greatest height. Proposed in 1880, the conjecture theorised the existence of an extreme gravity wave on water and went so far as to predict its shape. Working alongside colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic, Fraenkel provided a definitive resolution to the conjecture little over a century after its first publication.

Before taking on professorship at the University of Bath, Fraenkel held senior positions at the universities of Cambridge and Sussex. Awarded the Senior Whitehead Prize of the London Mathematical Society in 1989, he had been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1993.

Professor L E Fraenkel FRS died on 27 April 2019.

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