🔎 Jean-Jacques Dortous de Mairan

Engraving by Simon Charles Miger after Charles-Nicolas Cochin.


Jean-Jacques Dortous de Mairan
Engraving by Simon Charles Miger after Charles-Nicolas Cochin.

Activities) Mathematician (A mathematician is in the restricted sense a researcher in mathematics, by extension all…), astronomer (An astronomer is a scientist who specializes in the study of astronomy.) and geophysicist
Birth 1678
Death 1771
Paris (Paris is a French city, capital of France and the capital of the region…)

Jean-Jacques Dortous de Mairanborn in Béziers on November 26, 1678 and dead (Death is the final state of a biological organism that ceases to live (even if…) in Paris on February 20, 1771, was a French mathematician, astronomer and geophysicist. Mairan was born rather in the domain of the Treasurer, commune of Maureilhan, according to the work of Raymond Ros, “Pages of Biterroise History”.

Belonging to a family of minor nobility, Mairan lost his father at the age of four, and was brought up by his mother, who, noticing in him a happy disposition, took the greatest care of his education. Remaining free and in control of his actions when she died when he was only sixteen years old, he only took advantage of this independence by directing the employment of his young years towards study. His progress was so rapid in the ancient languages ​​that when he left the middle School (A quorum may designate a group of like-minded people…) from Toulouse, he translated Greek openly.

In 1698, he went to Paris and, during a stay of four years, he applied himself mainly to math (Mathematics is a field of abstract knowledge constructed using…) and at the physical (Physics (from the Greek φυσις, nature) is etymologically the…). Back in his town (A city is an urban unit (a “human settlement” for…) native, he resumed his favorite studies. The entreaties of one of his friends finally tore him away from this life (Life is the name given 🙂 dark and quiet, in which he enjoyed himself for a long time and which suited his calm, thoughtful and unambitious character.

Having decided to send, from 1715 to 1717, some memoirs to the Academy of Bordeaux, he was crowned three times in succession; to reward him for this succession of triumphs as much as to exclude such a formidable rival from the contests, this society hastened to admit him to the number (The notion of number in linguistics is treated in the article “Number…) judges.

Thinking of deploying his talents on a larger stage, Mairan came to settle in Paris where he was well known to scholars by his publications as well as by three new dissertations on the wheel (The wheel is an organ or mechanical part of circular shape rotating around an axis…) of Aristotle and various points of natural history. These works motivated the eager welcome given to their author by the Academy of Sciences, which received him, on December 24, 1718, as an associate surveyor without imposing on him the preliminary test of assistant.

Six month (The month (From lat. mensis “month”, and formerly in plural “menses”) is a period of time…) later he replaced Rolle, who had retired on July 8, 1719. From then on he showed himself to be very regular at the meetings of this company, where he read frequently. About this time he began to give the principles of his theory (The word theory comes from the Greek word theorein, which means “to contemplate, to observe,…) hot and cold (Cold is the opposite sensation of hot, associated with low temperatures.)continued in 1721 and fully developed in 1765. He also occupied himself, until 1740, with no less remarkable work on the reflection of bodies, matter (Matter is the substance that makes up any body having a tangible reality. Its…) almost as new as the preceding one and which had offered its vulgar observer no subject for new observations.

In 1721, he was commissioned, jointly with Varignon, to correct the errors made in the tonnage of ships and to prevent, by means of a more exact method, the complaints of commerce and the frauds of merchants. For this purpose he visited the principal ports of the Mediterranean. Intendant Hocquart’s process, which he improved, was adopted in preference to that of Varignon; a commissioner-general of the navy, named Deslandes, having dared to criticize him in coarse terms, was obliged, after some debate, to make a public reparation both to Mairan and to the Academy.

On return from this travel (A trip is a trip made to a more or less distant point for a personal purpose…)in 1723, Mairan stopped in his native town where, together with his friends Jean Bouillet and Antoine Portalonhe founded, under the protection of Cardinal de Fleury, the Academy of Béziers intended to spread in the south the taste (For the faculty of judging beautiful things, see Taste (aesthetics)) exact sciences.

In 1740 he was chosen to replace the Normand Fontenelle in the charge (The payload represents what is actually…) permanent secretary; but he accepted it only on condition of resigning after three years. The brilliant manner in which he acquitted himself of these new duties, rendered so difficult by glory (La Gloire was the first ocean-going battleship in history. She was launched in 1859 for the…) which his predecessor had acquired there, opened to him in 1743 the doors of the French Academy, where he took the place of François-Joseph de Beaupoil de Sainte-Aulaire.

He was also a Fellow of the Royal Societies of London (London (in English: London – /?l?nd?n/) is the capital as well as the largest city…)Edinburgh and Uppsala, the Academy of Saint Petersburg, the Institute of bologna (Bologna is an Italian city of approximately 375,000 inhabitants, located in the northeast of…), the Academy of Rouen, etc. Towards the same time (Time is a concept developed by human beings to apprehend the…)he was called by Chancellor d’Aguesseau to preside over the editorial staff of the Journal des sçavans.

The old age (Old age is the ultimate age of the human being, which follows age…) was far from being for Mairan the age of rest. Not only did he assiduously follow the meetings of the two Academies of which he was a member, but he composed new works, corrected old ones, gave augmented reprints of them, and maintained with the scholars and scholars of all Europe correspondence (Correspondence is an exchange of mail usually extended over a long period of time. The…) regular. A friend of philosophers, he also regularly visited the salons of Madame de Tencin and Anne-Thérèse de Lambert.

He died at ninety-two years and three months, of a common cold (Rhinopharyngitis or nasopharyngitis, commonly known as the common cold (pronounced ),…) which changed into an infusion of chest. ” The day (The day or the day is the interval which separates the sunrise from the sunset; it is the…) fatal, says Grimm, where he was to dine at the Temple with the Prince de Conti, he took pity on his porters; he did not want them to make a race (Running: This word has several meanings, all of which have to do with movement.) as considerable as that of the Louvre at the Temple. He got into a cab, which could only take him to the door of the temple; we had to cross the courtyards on foot; he caught cold, and went home never to leave. »

Like Fontenelle, to whom he resembled in the charms of the mind, the calmness of the character and the long life, Mairan was a discreet philosopher and a witty writer. With research for scholars, he was able to combine the art of pleasing the public. “But he was not only the elegant interpreter of the sciences, says Villemain, he had the genius. We saw him in turn applying the science (Science (Latin scientia, “knowledge”) is, according to the dictionary…) to objects of practical utility or extend it by beautiful and new experiments. Surveyor, physicist (A physicist is a scientist who studies the field of physics, i.e….), astronomer, he discovered where Fontenelle had pleasantly spoken… His mind, no less extensive than penetrating, had focused on all things. Finally Mairan is everywhere a delicate observer, an ingenious philosopher, a precise, elegant and tasteful writer. Voltaire, who, in the fervor of his mathematical studies, had often consulted this skilful master, always had great esteem for him, without however daring to prefer him to Fontenelle, whose faults Mairan does not have, but whose piquancy and grace. »

Man (A man is an adult male individual of the species called Modern Man (Homo…) gentle, honest and obliging, the amiable politeness, the ingenious gaiety, the sureness of his commerce attracted many friends to Mairan. He was accused of selfishness, and it must be said that he brought everything (The whole understood as the whole of what exists is often interpreted as the world or…) to himself, and that his welfare (Well-being or well-being is a state that affects health, pleasure, etc.) was almost as dear to him as the care of his reputation. The Regent, who had him as his secretary, bequeathed him his watch as a special proof of his esteem; the Prince of Conti and other great lords showered him with benefactions. The gentleness of his manners made him look into the world (The word world can refer to:) as a model of social virtues.

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