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Alembert, Jean Le Rond d', 1717-1783

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Definition: Alembert, Jean Le Rond d' from

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, Jean Le Rond d' 1717–1783.


French mathematician and philosopher who wrote the influential Treatise of Dynamics (1743). He also contributed to Diderot's Encyclopédie.

Summary Article: Alembert, Jean Le Rond d' from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide
French mathematician, encyclopedist, and theoretical physicist. In association with Denis Diderot, he helped plan the great Encyclopédie, for which he also wrote the "Discours préliminaire" (1751). He framed several theorems and principles – notably d'Alembert's principle – in dynamics and celestial mechanics, and devised the theory of partial differential equations. The principle that now bears his name was first published in his Traité de dynamique (1743), and was an extension of the third of Isaac Newton's laws of motion. D'Alembert maintained that the law was valid not merely for a static body, but also for mobile bodies. Within a year he had found a means of applying the principle to the theory of equilibrium and the motion of fluids. Using also the theory of partial differential equations, he studied th...    Continue Reading
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