# Edouard Lucas

**François Édouard Anatole Lucas** (April 4, 1842 in Amiens - October 3, 1891) was a French mathematician who was educated at the École Normale Supérieure. He worked in the Paris observatory and later became a professor of mathematics in Paris. In the meantime he served in the army.

Lucas died in unusual circumstances. At the banquet of the annual congress of the *Association française pour l'avancement des sciences* a waiter dropped some crockery and a piece of broken plate cut Lucas on the cheek. He died a few days later of a sever skin inflammation probably caused by septicemia.

Lucas is known for his study of the Fibonacci sequence. The related Lucas sequence is named after him. He gave a formula for finding the n^{th} term of the Fibonacci sequence.

He devised methods for testing the primality of numbers. He proved in 1876 that 2^{127}-1 was prime; this would remain the largest known Mersenne prime for three-quarters of a century. Later Derrick Henry Lehmer refined his work and obtained the Lucas-Lehmer test for Mersenne numbers.

He worked on the development of the umbral calculus.

Lucas was also interested in recreational mathematics; the baguenaudier puzzle was invented by him. He also invented the tower of Hanoi puzzle, which he marketed under the nickname *N. Claus de Siam*, an anagram of *Lucas d'Amiens*.

## See also

## External links

- O'Connor, John J., and Edmund F. Robertson. "Edouard Lucas".
*MacTutor History of Mathematics archive*.

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