The discovery of elliptic functions emerged from investigations of integral addition theorems. An addition theorem for a function f is a formula expressing f(u+v) in terms of f(u) and f(v). For a function defined as a definite integral with a variable upper limit, an addition theorem takes the form of an equation between the sum of two such integrals, with upper limits u and v, and an integral whose upper limit is a certain function of u and v.In this paper, we briefly sketch the role which the investigation of such addition theorems has played in the development of the theory of elliptic intgrals and elliptic functions.

Author Bio

I am majoring in math and physics at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ. This work was completed during the 2007-2008 academic year, having been initiated by an NSF Center for Undergraduate Research in Mathematics (CURM) mini-grant from Brigham Young University. After obtaining my Bachelor's degree, I plan to go on to graduate school to study molecular physics. Outside of the mathematical sciences, I enjoy jogging, movies, and history.