Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace was a French scholar and polymath whose work was important to the development of engineering, mathematics, statistics, physics, astronomy, and philosophy.
65 Facts About Pierre-Simon Laplace
Pierre-Simon Laplace summarized and extended the work of his predecessors in his five-volume Mecanique celeste.
Pierre-Simon Laplace restated and developed the nebular hypothesis of the origin of the Solar System and was one of the first scientists to suggest an idea similar to that of a black hole.
Pierre-Simon Laplace is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time.
Pierre-Simon Laplace was Napoleon's examiner when Napoleon attended the Ecole Militaire in Paris in 1784.
Pierre-Simon Laplace became a count of the Empire in 1806 and was named a marquis in 1817, after the Bourbon Restoration.
Some details of Pierre-Simon Laplace's life are not known, as records of it were burned in 1925 with the family chateau in Saint Julien de Mailloc, near Lisieux, the home of his great-great-grandson the Comte de Colbert-Pierre-Simon Laplace.
The Pierre-Simon Laplace family was involved in agriculture until at least 1750, but Pierre Pierre-Simon Laplace senior was a cider merchant and syndic of the town of Beaumont.
Pierre Simon Pierre-Simon Laplace attended a school in the village run at a Benedictine priory, his father intending that he be ordained in the Roman Catholic Church.
Pierre-Simon Laplace did not graduate in theology but left for Paris with a letter of introduction from Le Canu to Jean le Rond d'Alembert who at that time was supreme in scientific circles.
When Pierre-Simon Laplace came back a few days later, d'Alembert was even less friendly and did not hide his opinion that it was impossible that Pierre-Simon Laplace could have read and understood the book.
Pierre-Simon Laplace further impressed the Marquis de Condorcet, and already by 1771 Pierre-Simon Laplace felt entitled to membership in the French Academy of Sciences.
Pierre-Simon Laplace was disgruntled, and early in 1773 d'Alembert wrote to Lagrange in Berlin to ask if a position could be found for Pierre-Simon Laplace there.
In 1773 Pierre-Simon Laplace read his paper on the invariability of planetary motion in front of the Academy des Sciences.
Pierre-Simon Laplace's early published work in 1771 started with differential equations and finite differences but he was already starting to think about the mathematical and philosophical concepts of probability and statistics.
In 1776, Pierre-Simon Laplace published a memoir in which he first explored the possible influences of a purported luminiferous ether or of a law of gravitation that did not act instantaneously.
Pierre-Simon Laplace ultimately returned to an intellectual investment in Newtonian gravity.
Pierre-Simon Laplace noted that though the terms themselves were small, when integrated over time they could become important.
Pierre-Simon Laplace carried his analysis into the higher-order terms, up to and including the cubic.
Pierre-Simon Laplace had a wide knowledge of all sciences and dominated all discussions in the Academie.
Pierre-Simon Laplace seems to have regarded analysis merely as a means of attacking physical problems, though the ability with which he invented the necessary analysis is almost phenomenal.
In 1776, Pierre-Simon Laplace formulated a single set of linear partial differential equations, for tidal flow described as a barotropic two-dimensional sheet flow.
Pierre-Simon Laplace obtained these equations by simplifying the fluid dynamic equations.
Pierre-Simon Laplace described Clairaut's work as being "in the class of the most beautiful mathematical productions".
Pierre-Simon Laplace applied the language of calculus to the potential function and showed that it always satisfies the differential equation:.
Pierre-Simon Laplace presented a memoir on planetary inequalities in three sections, in 1784,1785, and 1786.
Pierre-Simon Laplace solved a longstanding problem in the study and prediction of the movements of these planets.
On this view, Pierre-Simon Laplace predicted that the more distant planets would be older than those nearer the Sun.
Pierre-Simon Laplace was probably aware of this, but, like many writers of his time, he generally did not reference the work of others.
Pierre-Simon Laplace came close to propounding the concept of the black hole.
Pierre-Simon Laplace suggested that there could be massive stars whose gravity is so great that not even light could escape from their surface.
In 1806, Pierre-Simon Laplace bought a house in Arcueil, then a village and not yet absorbed into the Paris conurbation.
In 1806, Pierre-Simon Laplace was elected a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
In 1812, Pierre-Simon Laplace issued his Theorie analytique des probabilites in which he laid down many fundamental results in statistics.
Pierre-Simon Laplace's proofs are not always rigorous according to the standards of a later day, and his perspective slides back and forth between the Bayesian and non-Bayesian views with an ease that makes some of his investigations difficult to follow, but his conclusions remain basically sound even in those few situations where his analysis goes astray.
Pierre-Simon Laplace begins the text with a series of principles of probability, the first six being:.
Under the assumption that little or nothing is known a priori about the relative plausibilities of the outcomes, Pierre-Simon Laplace derived a formula for the probability that the next trial will be a success.
The rule of succession has been subject to much criticism, partly due to the example which Pierre-Simon Laplace chose to illustrate it.
Pierre-Simon Laplace calculated that the probability that the sun will rise tomorrow, given that it has never failed to in the past, was.
In two important papers in 1810 and 1811, Pierre-Simon Laplace first developed the characteristic function as a tool for large-sample theory and proved the first general central limit theorem.
Pierre-Simon Laplace's derivation included the joint limiting distribution of the least squares estimators of two parameters.
In 1814, Pierre-Simon Laplace published what may have been the first scientific articulation of causal determinism:.
Pierre-Simon Laplace, himself, did not use the word "demon", which was a later embellishment.
Pierre-Simon Laplace prudently withdrew from Paris during the most violent part of the Revolution.
Geometrician of the first rank, Pierre-Simon Laplace was not long in showing himself a worse than average administrator; from his first actions in office we recognized our mistake.
Pierre-Simon Laplace did not consider any question from the right angle: he sought subtleties everywhere, conceived only problems, and finally carried the spirit of "infinitesimals" into the administration.
Grattan-Guinness describes these remarks as "tendentious", since there seems to be no doubt that Pierre-Simon Laplace "was only appointed as a short-term figurehead, a place-holder while Napoleon consolidated power".
Pierre-Simon Laplace was accordingly raised to the senate, and to the third volume of the Mecanique celeste he prefixed a note that of all the truths therein contained the most precious to the author was the declaration he thus made of his devotion towards the peacemaker of Europe.
Pierre-Simon Laplace's knowledge was useful on the numerous scientific commissions on which he served, and, says Rouse Ball, probably accounts for the manner in which his political insincerity was overlooked.
About the political upheavals he had witnessed, Pierre-Simon Laplace formulated a set of principles derived from physics to favour evolutionary over revolutionary change:.
Pierre-Simon Laplace believed that the stability of nature, as revealed through scientific findings, provided the model that best helped to preserve the human species.
Pierre-Simon Laplace died in Paris on 5 March 1827, which was the same day Alessandro Volta died.
Pierre-Simon Laplace's brain was removed by his physician, Francois Magendie, and kept for many years, eventually being displayed in a roving anatomical museum in Britain.
Pierre-Simon Laplace was buried at Pere Lachaise in Paris but in 1888 his remains were moved to Saint Julien de Mailloc in the canton of Orbec and reinterred on the family estate.
Pierre-Simon Laplace went in state to Napoleon to present a copy of his work, and the following account of the interview is well authenticated, and so characteristic of all the parties concerned that I quote it in full.
Pierre-Simon Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.
Pierre-Simon Laplace replied that he had no need of that hypothesis.
Pierre-Simon Laplace addressed himself to Mr Laplace on the same subject, and held a considerable argument with him in which he differed from that eminent mathematician.
This, says Pierre-Simon Laplace, is a "thought in which he [Newton] would be even more confirmed, if he had known what we have shown, namely that the conditions of the arrangement of the planets and their satellites are precisely those which ensure its stability".
In old age, Pierre-Simon Laplace remained curious about the question of God and frequently discussed Christianity with the Swiss astronomer Jean-Frederic-Theodore Maurice.
Pierre-Simon Laplace told Maurice that "Christianity is quite a beautiful thing" and praised its civilising influence.
Maurice thought that the basis of Pierre-Simon Laplace's beliefs was, little by little, being modified, but that he held fast to his conviction that the invariability of the laws of nature did not permit of supernatural events.
Pierre-Simon Laplace received the last rites from the cure of the Missions Etrangeres and the cure of Arcueil.
Pierre-Simon Laplace is alleged to have embellished the story by claiming the Pope had "excommunicated" Halley's comet.