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Coloured portrait of the French mathematician and astronomer Marquis Pierre Simon de Laplace, 1749- 1827. Although from a poor family Laplace's talent led him to become an assistant of the French chemist Lavoisier. He is better known as a talented mathematician and he mainly applied his skills to astronomical problems. Between 1799 and 1825 Laplace published his most important work, "Mecanique Celeste", Celestial Mechanics. The aim of this book was to improve the understanding of the motions in the solar system by studying the gravitational perturbations between Sun and planets. In 1796 Laplace proposed that the Solar System was formed from a rotating disk of gas.
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