Srinivasa Ramanujan Facts: 41-45 | Life in Cambridge
41. After Ramanujan reached London, Hardy’s friend Neville received him. 4 days later Neville took Ramanujan to his own house located at Chesterton Road in Cambridge. From there, Ramanujan started working with Hardy and Littlewood. It is interesting to note that only three months after Ramanujan reached England, World War I broke out.
42. Ramanujan stayed at Neville’s house for 6 months after which he moved to Whewell’s Court that was only 5 minutes walking distance from Hardy’s room. While Hardy and Littlewood worked with Ramanujan, they were completely amazed by his work. They did rigorous study of the notebooks that Ramanujan brought with him.
43. Those notebooks that had thousands of theorems, identities and equations were all worked between the period 1903 and 1914. Some of those works of Ramanujan had already been discovered, some of them were wrong simply because of Ramanujan’s inexperience but the rest were completely new and original.
44. Hardy and Ramanujan had some conflicts because they belonged to different cultures and they had different upbringing. Hardy asked for proofs while Ramanujan worked purely on intuition and credited his knowledge to his family deity Namagiri.
45. Hardy tried really hard to make Ramanujan follow the rules and provide rigorous proofs of his work and even tried to fill in the gaps in Ramanujan’s education. However, it was not easy for either of the two.
Srinivasa Ramanujan Facts: 46-50 | PhD, FRS, Ill-Health
46. Ramanujan spent almost 5 years in Cambridge and during this whole time, he worked with Hardy and Littlewood. Only two years after Ramanujan went to Cambridge, he was awarded the ‘Bachelor of Science degree by research’. This degree was later named as PhD. He received the degree in March 1916.
47. He was awarded the PhD because of the work he did on Highly Composite Numbers. Next year (1917) on December 6, he was elected as a member of London Mathematical Society.
48. He was elected as Fellow of the Royal Society in year 1918 because of his works on Theory of Numbers and Elliptic functions. He was second Indian to be elected as FRS. He was only 31 years old when he became the Fellow of the Royal Society. The first Indian was Ardaseer Cursetjee (FRS 1841).
49. The same year (1918) on October 13, he was elected as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. He became the first Indian to be elected as Fellow of Trinity College.
50. By 1919, his health worsened when he was in England. This happened because he had a strict vegetarian diet and on top of that there was war-time rationing that lasted from 1914 to 1918. These factors together led to serious health problems and he was diagnosed with Tuberculosis as well as severe vitamin deficiency.
Srinivasa Ramanujan Facts: 51-55 | Return to India and Death
51. In 1919, Ramanujan returned back to India. In 1920 he died when he was only 32 years old. He died on April 26.
52. In 1994, his medical records were rechecked by Dr. D. A. B. Young. Young concluded from the records and all the history of relapses, hepatic conditions and fevers that Ramanujan didn’t die of tuberculosis. He died because of Hepatic Amoebiasis.
53. Hepatic Amoebiasis was actually a widespread disease in Madras and was usually caused by improperly treated dysentery lying dormant for years.
54. Turns out that before returning to India, Ramanujan had two dysentery episodes. During the time when Ramanujan died, Hepatic Amoebiasis was actually a treatable disease and often curable. Unfortunately, it was not easy to diagnose at that time.
55. Before he died, Ramanujan continued working. After his death, his youngest brother Tirunarayanan compiled and chronicled all his work.
We are not quite done. We will soon compile a list of random facts about Ramanujan and publish as a separate article.