DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Pierre-Simon, Marquis de Laplace (1749-1827), French mathematician and astronomer. Laplace is most well known as a talented mathematician who mainly applied his skills to astronomical problems. Between 1799 and 1825, he collaborated with the French mathematician Lagrange, publishing Mecanique Celeste. The aim of the book was to improve the understanding of the motions in the Solar System by studying the gravitational influences of the Sun on the planets. In 1796 Laplace proposed that the Solar System was formed from a rotating disk of gas.
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