Biografia joseph louis lagrange

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Davinia González Morello Calculo I 03/01/2011

BIOGRAPHY Joseph-Louis LaGrange was a theoretical mathematician whose work often revolved around practical applications in astronomy. The areas ofmathematics in which LaGrange made contributions include calculus, differential equations, number theory, probability, and algebra. In addition to work related to astronomy, LaGrange researched soundand the vibrations of strings. LaGrange was born to a well-to-do family in what is now Italy in 1736. However, his father lost most of his property, so LaGrange had to rely on his own abilities to makea name for himself. While attending the College of Turin, he read Edmund Halley’s work on the use of algebra in optics and became interested in mathematics. Although largely self taught, LaGrange wasappointed professor of mathematics at the Royal Artillery School in Turin in 1755 at the age of 19. A year later, LaGrange was elected to the Berlin Academy of Sciences at the recommendation ofLeonhard Euhler, who was the Academy’s director of mathematics. In 1764, LaGrange won the Grand Prix from the Paris Academy of Science for explaining how we can see slightly more than 50% of the moon’ssurface since its axis moves as it rotates around the Earth. He won again in 1766 for mathematically explaining the orbits of Jupiter’s moons. In that same year, Frederick II of Prussia invited “thegreatest mathematician in Europe” to come to Berlin to replace Leonhard Euler, who had returned to St. Petersburg, Russia. LaGrange served as director of mathematics at the Berlin Academy from 1766 to1787. In 1772, LaGrange discovered five special points in the vicinity of two orbiting masses where the combined gravitational forces are zero. Thus, a third, smaller mass can orbit at a fixed distancefrom the larger masses. These special balance points in geometry of the orbits of satellites are called LaGrangian points in honor of their discoverer. In 1808, LaGrange further explained how the...
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