Today we are going to talk about a talented French mathematician, engineer and astronomer Pierre Simon de Laplace. He was one of the founders of the theory of probabilities. Except his mathematical activity, he also knew to philosophy and he wrote a great book about his theory of probabilities. The book was called in the same way – “The Philosophical Essay On Probabilities”. Maybe Pierre Simon was not as popular as his compatriots, but he is still considered to be one of the greatest mathematicians.
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We are going to start this essay from the biography of the author, later we talk about his own theory and make a short review of his book.
Pierre Simon de Laplace
Pierre Simon was not an ordinary person from his childhood. Mathematical thinking and ability to think constructively traced from the early years. He was born. He was interested in mathematics and astronomy and he improved almost all areas of science. He was popular during his life, because he was the member of the six Academies of Sciences and the Royal Society. Furthermore French people are proud to have such a great scientist – they put his name in the list of the greatest scientist of the whole France. This list is posted on the firs flor of the Eiffel Tower.
Laplace was into a peasant family in Beaumont-en-Auge in Normandy. His first place of study was the Benedictine School. It is strange but after graduating it, he became the real atheist. Though his family was not rich, but their rich neighbors helped the young Pierre to enter the Caen University. At university he printed his memorandum and this work interested the scientists, so Pierre was invited to Paris. Soon he became the teacher of mathematics at military Academy.
As soon as he could the young scientist started to learn the main problem of celestial mechanics – stability of the solar system. And very often he published important work on the theory of determinants, probability theory, mathematical physics, and others. From the very beginning his scientific activity was productive.
The "Celestial Mechanics" Laplace summed up as its own research in this area, as well as the works of his predecessors, beginning with Newton. It takes a lot of time list all his achievements. But it is important to say that Napoleon awarded the Laplace by the title of Count of the Empire and all imaginable honors and posts. Later his title of Count he changed on title of Marquis. Pierre wrote some scientific books were he summed up his and others discoveries. In general he was a kind man and always tried to help the young scientists.
He died at the age of 78 in his own estate.
The Probability Theory
Probability theory - a branch of mathematics that studies the regularities of random phenomena: random events, random variables, their properties and operations on them. This theory has a long history, which started from the Middle Ages. There were also first attempts at the mathematical analysis of gambling (craps, roulette). Initially, its basic concepts were not strictly in mathematical species. Such scientists as Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat tried to investigate the prediction of winning in gambling, they discovered the first probabilistic laws arising from the throwing of bones.
At last at the first half of the XIX century probability theory started to be applied to the analysis of observational error; Laplace and Poisson proved first theorems.
As a result the probability theory has become only as mathematical form, and nowadays came to be regarded as one of the branches of mathematics.
Form the title of this book we can easily guess about its content. The whole book includes the Laplace’s own outlines about probabilities. The book is divided into two main parts:
1) in the first part the author talked the reader about the probabilities and its principles in general. It is directly his philosophical thoghts on probabilities.
2) In the second part is more significant one. It includes the application of the calculus of probabilities, which were described from the very beginning. In this scientist work we can find the “rule of succession”- it is the well-known rule of probability a famous rule of probability that calculates the likely success of a trial based on the number of times it has succeeded in the past.
This book will be very useful for those people, who are interested in mathematics as a science. This book was very popular and even translated into English. This essay can read both the professional mathematics and the amateur ones. In general the essay is written in the understandable language, but some moments are really difficult to understand.
Nevertheless this book is recommended for those who are studying the theory of probabilities and it may be the part of scientist’s library. Don’t forget that its author was Pierre Simon Laplace – the greatest scientist and thinker of his time.
The Laplace himself told that this philosophical essay was written as a part of his lectures for the schools. The scientist summed up that in general all our knowledges are problematical. We can be sure only in some thinks, while others are based on the theory probabilities.
However, I think that this book is necessary for reading only for those who understand that mathematics is the part of his life. But in general, everybody should know about this theory and its founders. Remember about cheap custom essay writing services which can help you to write essay on the themes which are difficult for you.