Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Émilie du Châtelet

From the Daily Maverick:
Émilie du Châtelet could possibly be one of the greatest female intellectuals, mathematicians and thinkers in history, but the love of Voltaire’s life who contributed significantly to the Enlightenment all but vanished from the history books. That is until science author David Bodanis stumbled across her and decided to ensure she wouldn’t be forgotten.

One of her greatest accomplishments was the translation of Newton’s Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy). The achievement is remarkable when one realises that she made what is considered one of the greatest texts in the history of science accessible and that, three and a half centuries after it was originally published, it still remains the standard French translation.

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