Pierre-Simon Laplace, 1749-1827 : a life in exact science / Charles Coulston Gillispie, with the collaboration of Robert Fox and Ivor Grattan-Guinness.Material type: TextPublication details: Princeton, NJ ; Chichester : Princeton University Press, c1997. ISBN: 0691011850Subject(s): Laplace, Pierre Simon, marquis de, 1749-1827 | Physics -- History | Astronomy -- History | Scientists -- Biography -- France | Physicists -- Biography -- FranceDDC classification: 509.2 LOC classification: Q143.L36
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Pt. I. Early Career, 1768-1778. Ch. 1. Youth, Education, and Election to the Academy. Ch. 2. Finite Differences, Recurrent Series, and Theory of Chance. Ch. 3. Probability of Events and of Their Causes: The Origin of Statistical Inference. Ch. 4. Universal Gravitation. Ch. 5. Distribution of Comets. Ch. 6. Partial Differential Equations, Determinants, and Variation of Constants. Ch. 7. The Figure of the Earth and the Motion of the Seas -- Pt. II. Laplace in his Prime, 1778-1789. Ch. 8. Influence and Reputation. Ch. 9. Variation of Constants, Differential Operators. Ch. 10. Probability Matured. Ch. 11. Generating Functions and Definite Integrals. Ch. 12. Population. Ch. 13. Determination of the Orbits of Comets. Ch. 14. Lavoisier and Laplace: Chemical Physics of Heat. Ch. 15. Attraction of Spheroids. Ch. 16. Planetary Astronomy -- Pt. III. Synthesis and Scientific Statesmanship. Ch. 17. The Revolution and the Metric System. Ch. 18. Scientific Work in the Early Revolution. Ch. 19. Exposition du systeme du monde. Ch. 20. A Scientific Eminence. Ch. 21. Traite de mecanique celeste -- Pt. IV. Laplacian Physics and Probability. Ch. 22. The Velocity of Sound / Robert Fox. Ch. 23. Short-Range Forces / Robert Fox. Ch. 24. The Laplacian School / Robert Fox. Ch. 25. Theory of Error. Ch. 26. Probability: Theorie analytique and Essai philosophique. Ch. 27. Loss of Influence / Robert Fox. Ch. 28. The Last Analysis -- Pt. V. The Laplace Transform. Ch. 29. Laplace's Integral Solutions to Partial Differential Equations / Ivor Grattan-Guinness.
Pierre-Simon Laplace was among the most influential scientists in history. Often referred to as the lawgiver of French science, he is known for his technical contributions to exact science, for the philosophical point of view he developed in the presentation of his work, and for the leading part he took in forming the modern discipline of mathematical physics. His two most famous treatises were the five-volume Traite de mecanique celeste (1799-1825) and Theorie analytique des probabilites (1812). In the former, he demonstrated mathematically the stability of the solar system in accordance with the universal Newtonian law of gravity. In the latter, he developed probability from a set of miscellaneous problems concerning games, averages, mortality, and insurance risks. These estimates of error and statistical inferences could be applied to social, medical, and legal matters, as well as to the physical sciences. This book traces the development of Laplace's research program and of his participation in the Academy of Science during the last decades of the Old Regime into the early years of the French Revolution.