Pierre Duhem, French physicist

Pierre Duhem, French physicist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES, E. Scott Barr Collection/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Pierre Duhem (1861-1916), French physicist, mathematician, and historian and philosopher of science. Duhem worked on thermodynamics, developing concepts such as the Gibbs-Duhem relation and the Duhem-Margules equation. He also known for his work in the history and philosophy of science. The Duhem-Quine thesis states that background assumptions make it impossible to test scientific hypotheses in isolation. Duhem's publications include 'The Aim and Structure of Physical Theory' (1906) and his 10-volume 'The System of the World: A History of Cosmological Doctrines from Plato to Copernicus' (1913-1959). Many of Duhem's works have been translated into English and continue to be published since his death, such as 'Medieval Cosmology: Theories of Infinity, Place, Time, Void, and the Plurality of Worlds' (1985). Duhem was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics.

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