Chapter

Dissertation on the Nature and Propagation of Fire

in Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780226168067
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226168081 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226168081.003.0004
Dissertation on the Nature and Propagation of Fire

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By the summer of 1737, Marquise Du Châtelet had already turned most of her attention to readings in natural philosophy, particularly Isaac Newton's Opticks and his Principia Mathematica. Voltaire, back at Cirey from his brief exile in Holland and the opportunity to watch the Dutch physicist, Willem Jacob's Gravesande's demonstration lectures, was excited by the prospect of conducting his own experiments at Cirey. He collaborated with Du Châtelet on a study of “the nature and propagation of fire.” This chapter presents Marquise Du Châtelet's essay entitled Dissertation on the Nature and Propagation of Fire. It also includes Du Châtelet's letters to Pierre Robert le Cornier de Cideville, a longtime friend of Voltaire from his days in Rouen studying law, to Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis, Du Châtelet's mathematics tutor and mentor in philosophy, and to Charles Augustin Feriol, Count d'Argental.

Keywords: Marquise Du Châtelet; fire; Voltaire; letters; Isaac Newton; Propagation of Fire; Cornier de Cideville; Moreau de Maupertuis; Charles Augustin Feriol; Opticks

Chapter.  21962 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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