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Charles de La Condamine, French mathematician.

Charles de La Condamine, French mathematician.

H412/0237

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Charles de La Condamine. Engraving of Charles- Marie de La Condamine (1701-1774), French mathematician and discoverer of rubber. La Condamine was educated at the College Louis-le- Grande in Paris. During 1735-43, he and Pierre Bougeur took part in an expedition to Peru. They were attempting to find out whether Earth is an oblate spheroid (flattened at the poles). By measuring the length of a degree of the meridian and comparing it with similar measurements in the Arctic they proved that Earth is oblate. He returned to France with samples of curare (a poison) and the first knowledge of rubber and platinum.

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