Pierre Simon Laplace, 1749-1827: A Determined Scientist

Voorkant
Harvard University Press, 2005 - 310 pagina's
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Often referred to as the Newton of France, Pierre Simon Laplace has been called the greatest scientist of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. He affirmed the stability of the solar system and offered a powerful hypothesis about its origins. A skillful mathematician and popular philosopher, Laplace also did pioneering work on probability theory, in devising a method of inverse probabilities associated with his classic formulation of physical determinism in the universe. With Lavoisier and several younger disciples, he also made decisive advances in chemistry and mathematical physics.

Roger Hahn, who has devoted years to researching Laplace's life, has compiled a rich archive of his scientific correspondence. In this compact biography, also based in part on unpublished private papers, Hahn follows Laplace's journey from would-be priest in the provinces to Parisian academician, popularizer of science during the French Revolution, religious skeptic, and supporter of Napoleon. By the end of his life, Laplace had become a well-rewarded dean of French science.

In this first full-length biography, Hahn illuminates the man in his historical setting. Elegantly written, Pierre Simon Laplace reflects a lifetime of thinking and research by a distinguished historian of science on the fortunes of a singularly important figure in the annals of Enlightenment science.

 

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Inhoudsopgave

Introduction
1
Norman Beginnings
3
From Scholasticism to Higher Mathematics
16
The Gifted Mathematician
32
The Philosophical Program
48
The Celestial Program
64
The Terrestrial Program
81
Revolutionary Tumult
98
Celestial Mechanics
140
Probability and Determinism
168
The Waning Years
190
Conclusion
205
Abbreviations
211
Illness and Last Moments of M de Laplace
233
Index
303
Copyright

The Politics of Science
120

Veelvoorkomende woorden en zinsdelen

Over de auteur (2005)

Roger Hahn is an accomplished, versatile, and respected New Orleans journalist. For more than four decades he has contributed to such venues as NPR Jazz Online, Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine, OffBeat magazine, Songlines: The World Music Magazine (UK), Rhythms: Australia's Roots Music Magazine, and KnowLA: Online Encyclopedia of Louisiana Culture.

Roger Hahn is Professor of History, University of California, Berkeley.

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