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Jean Le Rond Dalembert, French Polymath
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Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert (1717-1783) was a French mathematician, mechanician, physicist, philosopher, music theorist and co-editor (for mathematics and science) with Denis Diderot of the Encyclopédie. D'Alembert's formula for obtaining solutions to the wave equation is named after him. In 1739 he made his first contribution to the field of mathematics, pointing out the errors he had detected in L'analyse démontrée. In 1740, in regards to the field of fluid mechanics, he theoretically explained refraction. In 1743 he published his most famous work, Traité de dynamique, in which he developed his own laws of motion. In 1752, he wrote about what is now called D'Alembert's paradox that the drag on a body immersed in an inviscid, incompressible fluid is zero. He suffered bad health for many years and his death was as the result of a urinary bladder illness.
March 7th, 2013
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