# Record

Authorised form of name | Moivre; Abraham de (1667 - 1754); French mathematician |

Other forms of name | Abraham |

Other forms of surname | Moivre |

de Moivre | |

Dates | 1667 - 1754 |

Nationality | French |

Place of birth | Vitry-le-Francois, Champagne, France, Europe |

Date of birth | 26 May 1667 |

Place of death | London, England, Europe |

Date of death | 27 November 1754 |

Dates and places | Burial: St Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, London (1 December 1754) |

Occupation | Mathematician |

Research field | Probability |

Mathematics | |

Activity | Education: Christian Brothers' school [Pères de la Doctrine Chrétienne] 1672-7; Sedan 1678-1681; Saumur 1682-4; College d'Harcourt, Paris Career: A Huguenot, he was imprisoned after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685); naturalised British (1687, 1706); fled to London (1688); taught and lectured on mathematics; met with Halley and subsequently with Newton in 1692; his publication on Newton's doctrine of fluxions overseen by Halley and published in Philosophical Transactions (1695); friend of Isaac Newton (FRS 1672); in 1712 became a member of the set up by the Royal Society to support Newton's priority in the dispute between Newton and Leibnitz and was drawn into the ensuing quarrels which lasted until the 1720s. Having lost his sight and hearing, he died of somnolence. Memberships: Fellow of the Kurfuerstlich Brandenburgische Sozietaet der Wissenschaften (1735) Foreign Associate of the Academie Royale des Sciences (1754) |

Membership category | Fellow |

Date of election | 30/11/1697 |

Age at election | 30 |

Proposer | Sir John Hoskins |

Relationships | Parents: Daniel Moivre, Surgeon, of Vitry and Anne Moivre |

Published works | RCN 33091 RCN 36091 RCN 36092 RCN 36097 RCN 36098 RCN 36095 RCN 36094 RCN 36093 |

General context | Prominent mathematician and loyal Newtonian, known for his work in infinitesimal calculus and probability theory. De Moivre's early mathematical pursuits included a polynomial theorem and engagement in debates, notably with George Cheyne. His correspondence with Leibniz and Johann Bernoulli aimed at securing a continental professorship but waned after his involvement in the Newton-Leibniz priority dispute. Recognizing the competitive nature of analysis, de Moivre shifted focus to probability theory and games of chance, where he made lasting contributions. His work culminated in the central limit theorem, a highlight of his career, demonstrating his intuitive understanding of statistical concepts. He also developed tools like a 'new algebra' for probability problem-solving. In 1718, de Moivre published "Doctrine of Chances," addressing probability concepts and applications. His central limit theorem, presented in 1738, was considered a major achievement, demonstrating an early grasp of standard deviation. The theorem's foundation involved collaboration with Stirling and a competition that concluded in 1730. De Moivre's interest in societal matters led him to explore financial concepts, such as annuities and loans. His book "Annuities upon Lives" (1725) addressed these economic topics, showcasing his analytical prowess and influencing subsequent mathematicians like Lagrange and Laplace. Known for: De Moivre's formula (also known as de Moivre's theorem and de Moivre's identity), a formula that links complex numbers and trigonometry, and for his work on the normal distribution and probability theory. De Moivre's law: survival model applied in actuarial science, named for Abraham de Moivre.[1][2][3] It is a simple law of mortality based on a linear survival function. De Moivre's martingale: a sequence of random variables (i.e., a stochastic process) for which, at a particular time, the conditional expectation of the next value in the sequence is equal to the present value, regardless of all prior values. De Moivre–Laplace theorem: special case of the central limit theorem, states that the normal distribution may be used as an approximation to the binomial distribution under certain conditions. |

Related images | Discover a selection of related images in our picture library |

Image | |

Sources | Sources: Bulloch's Roll; DNB; DSB; Hunter; Shaw LD References: J A Lohne, 'Experimentum Crucis' in NR 1968 vol 23 pp 169-199 M Greenwood, 'The First Life Table' in NR 1938 vol 1 pp 70-72 |

Virtual International Authority File | http://viaf.org/viaf/71525671 |

Royal Society code | NA6806 |

Archives associated with this Fellow

Reference number | Title | Date |

EL/M3/52 | Letter, from Abraham de Moivre to John Machin | January 1736 |

M/148 | Moivre, Abraham de | 1741 |

LBO/16/7 | Copy of a letter from John Woolhouse, Paris, to Abraham Moivre | 4 November 1712 |

CLP/1/39/2 | Diagrams, comet and equations by [Abraham de Moivre?] | [1695] |

P/0090 | Portrait of Moivre, Abraham de | 1736 |

EL/W3/97 | Letter, from John Woolhouse to Mr [Abraham de] Moivre, dated at Paris | 4 November 1712 |

L&P/1/299 | Letter, 'The calculates values on annuties on lives' from Abraham de Moivre to William Jones | 1744 |

CLP/1/43 | Paper, 'The report of what was contained in Mr de Moivres papers opend before the Society on 5th of May 1720' by unknown author | 5 May 1720 |

CLP/1/39 | Paper, 'Specimina quaedam illustria doctrinae fluxionum sive exempla quibus methodi istius usus et praestantia in solvendis problematis geometricis elucidatur ex epistola peritissimi mathematici' [Some illustrious examples of fluxions or examples by which the use and excellence of this method of solving geometrical problems is elucidated, from a letter from the most experienced mathematician] by D Abr [Abraham] de Moivre | [1695] |

CLP/1/39/1 | Manuscript, 'Specimina quaedam illustria doctrinae fluxionum sive exempla quibus methodi istius usus et praestantia in solvendis problematis geometricis elucidatur ex epistola peritissimi mathematici' [Some illustrious examples of fluxions or examples by which the use and excellence of this method of solving geometrical problems is elucidated, from a letter from the most experienced mathematician] by D Abr [Abraham] de Moivre | 10 July 1695 |

CLP/1/7 | Paper, 'The doctrine of combinations and alternations improv'd and compleated' by Major Edward Thornycroft | [1705] |

## Collection highlights

Browse the records of some of our collections, which cover all branches of science and date from the 12th century onwards. These include the published works of Fellows of the Royal Society, personal papers of eminent scientists, letters and manuscripts sent to the Society or presented at meetings, and administrative records documenting the Society's activities since our foundation in 1660.