Elemente der Mathematik
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Published online: 2016-04-05
Hurwitz’s counting isomers of alkanesHolger Helmstetter and Nicola M.R. Oswald (1) Würzburg, Germany
(2) Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany
In a late entry in his mathematical diary from 1918 Adolf Hurwitz refined ideas due to Arthur Cayley in order to count trees of specific structure (namely isomers of alkanes). We shall analyze his reasoning in detail and discuss it in context with Cayley's original approach and George Pólya's later enumeration method.
Keywords: Adolf Hurwitz, trees, counting chemical compounds
Helmstetter Holger, Oswald Nicola: Hurwitz’s counting isomers of alkanes. Elem. Math. 71 (2016), 57-68. doi: 10.4171/EM/300