Biography of Jean D’Alembert

Biography of Jean D’Alembert

Jean le Rond d'Alembert was one of the greatest exponents of the Enlightenment. From your position as mathematician and philosopher, acted as a catalyst for the movement of lights and had great relevance in the history of science.

He was born in Paris on November 16, 1717 and was abandoned at birth in front of the church of Saint-Jean-le Rond, from where it got its name. His biological parents never recognized him, but they took care of the expenses of their education. At age 18, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts and went through various careers (Law, Medicine) until deciding that his life would be mathematics, which he had learned in a self-taught way. In 1739 he presented his first work to the Paris Academy of Sciences and just two years later, he was elected a member.

In 1743 he published his Treatise on dynamics, which contained the theorem known as “D'Alembert Principle”. In this theory, he related dynamics and statics, so that confirmed the existence of inertia as a reaction to forces acting on a certain point.

It is not his only contribution, since in algebra he showed that the field C of complex numbers is sufficient for all analytical calculus. He was the first to use a Taylor development with explicit remainder in integral form (1754), proposed a method for solving systems of differential equations and created a first example of an equation with partial derivatives.

In 1747, together with Diderot, he began to form the Encyclopedia. He was in charge of the writing of the “Preliminary speech”And several articles on mathematics and literature, which make him a positivist precursor to the history of science. D’Alembert He was very tolerant but skeptical about the field of religion and metaphysics, since he opted for natural philosophy over the religious beliefs of other enlightened people.

A few years later, in 1772, the French Academy appointed him perpetual secretary, due to his great contribution to the culture and science of the time. His research in mechanics, acoustics and astronomy led to deepen and perfect the analytical construction of the enlightened. He collaborated with great authors such as Voltaire, Montesquieu, Rosseau or Adam Smith.

He died on October 29, 1783 in Paris, being recognized and respected by all, being one of the greatest thinkers of the Enlightenment. He went from being disowned by his parents to dying surrounded by honors and respect from all of society.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was little he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.


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