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Google Doodle celebrates French mathematician Émilie du Châtelet’s 315th birthday; Here are some interesting facts about du Châtelet



emilie du chatelet 315th birthday google doodle

Google Doodle celebrates the 315th birthday of French natural philosopher and mathematician Émilie du Châtelet, on December 17, 2021. Here are some interesting facts about the life and work of du Châtelet.

Émilie du Châtelet
Émilie du Châtelet


  • Birth name: Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet
  • Birthdate: 17 December 1706
  • Birthplace: Paris, Kingdom of France
  • Died on: 10 September 1749 (aged 42)
  • Death place: Lunéville, Kingdom of France
  • Father name: Louis Nicolas le Tonnelier de Breteuil
  • Mother name: Gabrielle-Anne de Froulay
  • Spouse(s): Marquis Florent-Claude du Chastellet-Lomont
  • Nationality: French
  • Famous as: philosopher and mathematician
  • Known for: Translation of Newton’s Principia into French, natural philosophy which combines Newtonian physics with Leibnizian metaphysics, and advocacy of Newtonian physics

Who was Émilie du Châtelet?

30 Interesting Facts about Émilie du Châtelet

  1. Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet was born on 17 December 1706 — when it was uncommon for women to publicly seek after intellectual careers — in Paris.
  1. Émilie du Châtelet’s most remembered achievement is her translation of and commentary on Isaac Newton’s 1687 book Principia containing basic laws of physics. The translation, published posthumously in 1756, is as yet viewed as the standard French translation today.
  1. Her commentary incorporates a significant contribution to Newtonian mechanics—the postulate of an extra conservation law for total energy, of which kinetic energy of motion is one element. This prompted her conceptualization of energy all things considered, and to determine its quantitative relationships to the mass and velocity of an object.
  1. Émilie du Châtelet’s philosophical magnum opus, Institutions de Physique (Paris, 1740, first release), or Foundations of Physics, distributed broadly, produced heated debates and was republished and translated into a few different languages within two years of its original publication.
  1. Émilie du Châtelet partook in the renowned vis viva debate, concerning the best way to measure the force of a body and the best method for pondering conservation principles.
  1. On 12 June 1725, Émilie du Châtelet wedded the Marquis Florent-Claude du Chastellet-Lomont. As a wedding gift, the husband was made governor of Semur-en-Auxois in Burgundy by his dad; the recently wedded couple moved there toward the finish of September 1725.
  1. In 1733, aged 26, Du Châtelet continued her mathematical studies. At first, she was tutored in algebra and calculus by Moreau de Maupertuis, a member of the Academy of Sciences.
  1. Anyway by 1735 Du Châtelet had turned for her mathematical training to Alexis Clairaut, a mathematical prodigy known best for Clairaut’s equation and Clairaut’s theorem.
  1. Du Châtelet might have met Voltaire in her childhood at one of her father’s salons; Voltaire himself dates their meeting to 1729 when he got back from his exile in London. Be that as it may, their fellowship was created from May 1733 when she returned to society later the birth of her third child.
  1. In 1737, Émilie du Châtelet published a paper entitled Dissertation sur la nature et la propagation du feu, because she researched the science of fire.
  1. After months of clandestine research and experimentation, Émilie du Châtelet presented a groundbreaking physics paper to the French Academy of Sciences in 1737 that anticipated the presence of infrared radiation.
  1. Voltaire, a famous author of the French enlightenment, perceived her talents, and in 1738, the pair published “Elements of Newton’s Philosophy” under Voltaire’s name. This pioneering book separated complex Newtonian physics into straightforward terms for French readers.
  1. Sharing a passion for science, Voltaire and Du Châtelet teamed up scientifically. They set up a lab in Du Châtelet’s home. In healthy competition, the two of them entered the 1738 Paris Academy prize contest on the nature of fire, since Du Châtelet disagreed with Voltaire’s essay. She hence became the first woman to have a scientific paper published by the Academy.
  1. In her first independent work, the prelude to her translation of the Fable of the Bees, Émilie du Châtelet contends strongly for women’s education, especially a strong secondary education as was accessible for youngsters in the French collèges. By denying women a well-rounded education, she contends, society keeps women from becoming prominent in the arts and sciences.
  1. Émilie du Châtelet made a pivotal scientific contribution in making Newton’s historic work more available in an ideal, exact, and clever French translation, expanded by her original concept of energy conservation.
  1. Émilie du Châtelet’s magnum opus came in 1740 with the anonymous publication of “The Foundations of Physics,” a work of natural philosophy that wedded Newtonian physics with metaphysics. Her work played an instrumental role in the acknowledgment of Newtonian physics across Europe.
  1. Her book Institutions de Physique (“Lessons in Physics”) was published in 1740. The book and ensuing debate added to her becoming a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Institute of Bologna in 1746.
  1. Yet anonymously, Émilie du Châtelet kept on revolutionizing physics by translating “Principia,” Newton’s declaration for the laws of motion and gravity. Published posthumously in 1759, it stays the leading French translation right up ’til the present time.
  1. Émilie du Châtelet died on 10 September 1749, at Lunéville, from an pulmonary embolism. She was 42.
  1. Historical proof shows that Émilie du Châtelet’s work affected the philosophical and scientific conversations of the 1730s and 1740s – indeed, she was well known and respected by the best thinkers of her time.
  1. In 1749, the year of Émilie du Châtelet’s death, she finished the work viewed as her exceptional accomplishment: her translation into French, with her commentary, of Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (frequently referred to as essentially the Principia), including her induction of the notion of conservation of energy from its principles of mechanics.
  1. Posthumously, Émilie du Châtelet’s ideas were intensely represented in the most well-known text of the French Enlightenment, the Encyclopédie of Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert, first published soon after du Châtelet’s death.
  1. Various biographies, books, and plays have been written about her life and work in the two centuries since her death. In the mid 21st century, her life and ideas have produced renewed interest.
  1. Émilie du Châtelet’s works were published and republished in Paris, London, and Amsterdam; they were translated into German and Italian.
  1. A main-belt belt minor planet and a crater on Venus have been named in her honor, and she is the subject of three plays: Legacy of Light by Karen Zacarías; Émilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson and Urania: the Life of Émilie du Châtelet by Jyl Bonaguro. The opera Émilie of Kaija Saariaho is about the last snapshots of her life.
  1. Émilie du Châtelet is regularly represented in pictures with mathematical iconography, like holding a pair of dividers or a page of geometrical calculations. In the mid-nineteenth century, a French pamphlet of celebrated women (Femmes célèbres) presented a perhaps apocryphal story of Du Châtelet’s childhood.
  1. Beginning around 2016, the French Society of Physics (la Société Française de Physique) has awarded the Emilie Du Châtelet Prize to a physicist or team of researchers for excellence in Physics.
  1. Duke University additionally presents an annual Du Châtelet Prize in Philosophy of Physics “for previously unpublished work in philosophy of physics by a graduate student or junior scholar.”
  1. Published ten years later her death, today Émilie du Châtelet’s translation of the Principia is as yet the standard translation of the work into French. Her translation and commentary of the Principia added to the fulfillment of the scientific revolution in France and its acknowledgment in Europe.
  1. On December 17, 2021, Google featured a Doodle on its home page for celebrating Émilie du Châtelet’s 315th Birthday.

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