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Gaspard Monge, French mathematician

Gaspard Monge, French mathematician

C006/6180

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ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL INSTITUTION OF GREAT BRITAIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Gaspard Monge (1746-1818), French mathematician. Monge was born at Beaune and attended school there and in Lyon. On returning home he constructed some instruments and made a survey of the town which he presented to the town council. This led to him being sent to the military academy at Mezieres, where he graduated then taught. He was an active supporter of Napoleon and became Minister of the Navy in 1792. He is remembered as founder of descriptive geometry, the basis of modern engineering drawing, and for his work on the curvature of surfaces. He developed the theory of a class of equations now called Monge equations. He also tackled partial differential equations, the composition of nitrous acid, capillary phenomena, and the synthesis of water from hydrogen and oxygen.

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