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Emilie du Chatelet
Transcript of Emilie du Chatelet
Work with E=mc^2
Area's of Interest
Who was Emilie du Chatelet?
Emilie’s full name is Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet
She was born December 17, 1706 in Paris and died September 10, 1749 in Luneville
Her father recognized her early brilliance, and set up for a famous essayist ,Bernard Fontenelle, to speak with her about astronomy when she was only 10
Emilie loved to dance, she also sang opera and was an amateur actress, when she was short on money, du Chatelet would create successful strategies to win gambling games
her marriage was an arranged marriage, she married Marquis Florent-Claude du Chastelet-Lomont on June 12, 1725, Emilie was 18 at the time and her husband was 30
One of the most well known discoveries of du Chatelet was that she had corrected an error made by Isaac Newton, Newton had shown that the energy of a moving object was proportional to the mass and velocity of the object (E=amv). du Chatelet demonstrated that energy was actually proportional to the square of the velocity (E=amv2).
Chatelet also investigated other things about fire, and published a paper dubbed "Essay on the nature and spread of fire".
It is said that Albert Einstein got the inspiration for his famous equation of relativity (E=mc2) when he looked at Emilie du Chatelet's study on the relationship between energy and velocity.
Emilie's range of interests were quite the same, relation wise, they included:
physics, including Isaac Newton's laws and the conservation of energy
Emilie's main inspirations were:
Emilie had many affairs but her most popular one was with the poet Voltaire, they had first met in Emilie’s childhood
Voltaire was invited by Emilie to live in her country house as her “long-time companion” under the eye of her very tolerant husband
a famous quote said by her equally famous lover, Voltaire, in a letter to his friend King Frederick II of Prussia was that du Chatelet “was a great man whose only fault was being a woman”
One obstacle was aided by her father whom was a courtier to King Louis XIV, he arranged for Emilie to have a good education. She got to study languages, mathematics, and science; which were unusual subjects for a girl such as herself to learn in the 18th century.
In 1749 Emilie gave birth to Stanislas-Adelaide du Chatelet, daughter of one of her many affairs
the two year old died in 1751 in Luneville this child also caused her death a week later at the age of 4
Chatelet publishes a paper entitled Dissertation sur la nature et la propagation du feu, which is based on her research into the science of fire, and predicted what is today known as infrared radiation and the nature of light
Emilie writes her book, Institutions de Physique (Lessons in Physics), it was presented as a review of new ideas in science and philosophy that were to be studied by her thirteen-year-old son, but it incorporated and sought to reconcile complex ideas from the leading thinkers of the time.
based off Willem Gravesande experiment of balls dropped into soft clay from different heights
Emilie wrote that when you dropped balls into clay, the key observation was the depth to which the balls sank into the clay, it was proportional to the square of the height dropped. Which means, if you double the drop height the ball sank 4 times deeper. Triple the height produces a 9 times increase in depth. And so on and so on. She demonstrated that the concept of energy depends on the square of the velocity.
1749 and 1759-
Her translation of Newton’s Principia Mathematica into French is still seen as her number one life achievement, her translation also included her commentary
she finished writing the translation the year she died, but it was not published until a ten years after her death, 1759
her translation is still used as the standard translation of the work into French
1779: Her work, Discours sur le bonheur (Discourse on Happiness), a very personal exposition of what makes for our happiness and the nature of happiness, was published
wrote a critical review of the New and Old Testament, no date is given for when
Emilie du Chatelet’s work related back to Einstein’s most famous equation because she was the one to prove how if energy was squared, it would equal the velocity. The energy couldn’t simply be doubled and equal the answer.
In Gravesande’s experiment, which du Chatelet repeated and advanced, it proved to be inaccurate. The energy carried would be proportional to the mass squared.
If the equation was true, then a weight going twice as fast as an earlier one would sink in twice as deeply. One going three times as fast would sink three times as deep. But that’s not what Gravesande found. If a small brass sphere was sent down twice as fast as before, it pushed four times as far into the clay. If it was flung down three times as fast, it sank nine times as far into the clay
By: Alex Proulx, Sabrina Twery, and Laurel Roser