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Accueil > Evénements > Exposition "Pierre Varignon (1654-1722). Pratique et transmission des mathématiques à l’aube des Lumières"

Exposition "Pierre Varignon (1654-1722). Pratique et transmission des mathématiques à l’aube des Lumières"

January 18 - April 15, 2023

“The career of Pierre Varignon, born in Caen in 1654 and died in Paris in 1722, revolves mainly around his activities as a teacher and academician. Holder of the first chair of mathematics at the University of Paris, established at the Collège Mazarin when it opened in 1688, he was also a reader at the Royal College from 1706, and thus contributed to the training of many scholars. and engineers. The Academy of Sciences, of which he became a member in November 1688 and within which he played an important role, also provided him with a privileged framework for his research, by facilitating their dissemination through academic periodicals (Mémoires de l’Académie Royale des Sciences and Journal des savants).

As a geometer, Varignon was able to recognize the innovative power of Leibnizian analysis, of which he was one of the first defenders in France. But its scientific activity extends to wider territories. His career was framed by two works, the Project of a New Mechanics, which in 1687 opened the doors to the scholarly world, and the New Mechanics or Statics, published posthumously in 1725. In fact his contributions to mechanics were also decisive and varied, both in its theoretical aspects (transposition into Leibnizian analytical terms of the laws of Newtonian dynamics, unification of statics, work on central forces, etc.) and in its practical applications.

Almost “ordinary” scientist at the dawn of the Enlightenment, without leaving a work as substantial as some of his contemporaries and European correspondents such as Leibniz (1646-1716), Newton (1643-1727) or the Jacques brothers (1654-1705) ) and Jean (1667-1748) Bernoulli, Varignon nevertheless contributes, through his teaching and his works, to the constitution of a tradition of application of mathematics and to the development of analytical mechanics“.

Curation : Sandra Bella (Université Paris Cité, Laboratoire SPHere),
Jeanne Peiffer (Centre Alexandre Koyré) & Patrick Latour (Bibliothèque Mazarine).

Autour de l’exposition, le colloque international Pierre Varignon, un géomètre "professionnel" à l’aube des Lumières (17-19 janvier 2023), organisé par S. Bella (Université Paris Cité, Laboratoire SPHere) et J. Peiffer (Centre Alexandre Koyré)

Guided visits are planned :
– Wednesday March 29 at 6 p.m. as part of the “Nocturnes de l’Histoire”
– Thursday, April 6 at 6 p.m.
To book by email
Page on the website of the Bibliothèque Mazarine

From January 18, 2023 to April 15, 2023 :
Free admission Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
23 quai de Conti, 75006 PARIS