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Transcript of Enlightenment
When he was old enough he started to train as a lawyer but his real passion was for mathmatics. In July 1739 d'Alembert read his first paper on the Paris Academy of Science and found some errors in Reyneau's standard text, "Analyse demontree" which were not so important but marked the start of his mathematical career. Despite this tendency to quarrel with all around him, his contributions were amzingly important. D'Alembert helped to resolve the problem in mathematical physics over the conservation of kinetic energy by improving Newton's definition of force in his book, "Traite de dynamique" which he published in 1743. This also contains d'Alembert's understanding of mechanics. This is an important work and the peice of work contains a clear statement by d'Alembert of an attempt to lay a firm foundation for mechanics. D'Alembert began to read parts of his "Traite de dynamique" in late 1742 but soon afterwards his rival, Clairaut began to write his own work on dynamics. Clearly a rivalry quickly began and d'Alembert stopped reading the work and rushed into print his work first. The two mathematicians had come up with similar ideas and indeed the rivalry was going to get alot worse in the next few years. sources:
"Reference " + N + "" Welcome to the Turnbull Server. Web. 15 Apr. 2010. <http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Biographies/D'Alembert.html>.
"Jean Le Rond D'Alembert - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia." Main Page - Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 15 Apr. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_le_Rond_d'Alembert>.
Info:Main Page - New World Encyclopedia. Web. 15 Apr. 2010. <http://static.newworldencyclopedia.org/>.
"KEFW The School News Latest News." King Edward VI Five Ways School. Web. 15 Apr. 2010. <http://www.ke5ways.bham.sch.uk/lhda/news/latest_news.htm>.
His connection to the enlightenment? throughout his life he is a true enlightenment man and shows many charcteristics of someone in the enlightenment. One of those characterisitics are that he loves to learn and teach. He loved to learn mathmatics and he showed considerable abilty to use the mathmatics aswell. He perfected and imporved alot of "Newtons" laws on force and gravity. While he did train as a lawyer for a certain number of years he really did not like this and wanted to study mathmatics, which he did in his spare time. One of d'alembert's biggest projects was the "Encyclopedia" which he worked on with Diderot. D'Alembert worked on the Encyclopedia for many years and he wrote most of the mathematical articles in this 28 volume work. However, he continued his mathematical work while working on the Encyclopedia. He was a pioneer in the study of partial differential equations and he pioneered their use in physics. His work on this topic first appeared in an article which he submitted for the 1747 prize of the Prussian Academy "Reflexions sur la cause generale des vents", which of course, he won the prize. Another mathmatician "Euler", however, saw the power of the methods introduced by d'Alembert and soon developed these far further than had d'Alembert. So the only thing he really brought to the world was the encyclopedia, but this was a very big thing and task to undertake as it was an attempt to catalog all known knowledge and he did a pretty good job at it to. D'alembert is a man from the enlightenment because of his talent in mathmatics and his willingness to want to know everything that a man can know, he brought the first encyclopedia to the world as well as perfected some already known laws of physics.