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Pierre-Simon Laplace, 1749-1827:
A Life in Exact Science
Charles Coulston Gillispie
With the collaboration of Robert Fox and Ivor Grattan-Guinness

Book Description | Reviews

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Preface
Acknowledgments
Pt. IEarly Career, 1768-1778
Ch. 1Youth, Education, and Election to the Academy3
Ch. 2Finite Differences, Recurrent Series, and Theory of Chance7
Ch. 3Probability of Events and of Their Causes: The Origin of Statistical Inference13
Ch. 4Universal Gravitation29
Ch. 5Distribution of Comets38
Ch. 6Partial Differential Equations, Determinants, and Variation of Constants44
Ch. 7The Figure of the Earth and the Motion of the Seas51
Pt. IILaplace in his Prime, 1778-1789
Ch. 8Influence and Reputation67
Ch. 9Variation of Constants, Differential Operators70
Ch. 10Probability Matured72
Ch. 11Generating Functions and Definite Integrals86
Ch. 12Population93
Ch. 13Determination of the Orbits of Comets96
Ch. 14Lavoisier and Laplace: Chemical Physics of Heat101
Ch. 15Attraction of Spheroids109
Ch. 16Planetary Astronomy124
Pt. IIISynthesis and Scientific Statesmanship
Ch. 17The Revolution and the Metric System149
Ch. 18Scientific Work in the Early Revolution156
Ch. 19Exposition du systeme du monde166
Ch. 20A Scientific Eminence176
Ch. 21Traite de mecanique celeste184
Pt. IVLaplacian Physics and Probability
Ch. 22The Velocity of Sound199
Ch. 23Short-Range Forces203
Ch. 24The Laplacian School209
Ch. 25Theory of Error216
Ch. 26Probability: Theorie analytique and Essai philosophique224
Ch. 27Loss of Influence243
Ch. 28The Last Analysis250
Pt. VThe Laplace Transform
Ch. 29Laplace's Integral Solutions to Partial Differential Equations259
Conclusion271
Abbreviations280
Bibliography281
Index319

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File created: 4/17/2014

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