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Portrait of Marin Mersenne, mathematician

Portrait of Marin Mersenne, mathematician

H413/0126

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SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Marin Mersenne. Portrait of Marin Mersenne (1588- 1648), French mathematician, philosopher and theologian. Mersenne was educated by the Jesuits and studied theology at the Sorbonne in Paris. He became a Catholic priest in 1611 and spent most of his life teaching, and travelling in Europe. He kept in contact with many eminent scientists and philosophers of his day including Pascal, Fermat, Descartes and Hobbes. He did practical work in optics & acoustics, & contributed to number theory with his Mersenne numbers. He was interested in problems of scientific methodology and philosophy, and he was one of the first to try to popularize the idea of an invented universal language.

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