*Science and Its Times*. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.

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## Mathematicians and Enlightenment Society

In the eighteenth century, mathematicians formed an integral part of society and culture. They exploited available avenues toward gaining patronage and prestige. Further, mathematicians such as Jean Le Rond d'Alembert (1717-1783) influenced the intellectual developments of the Enlightenment, which radiated out from France. The writers and thinkers of that time, in turn, relied upon mathematical language and logic in a unique manner.

## Background

By 1700, the Scientific Revolution had culminated mathematically with Isaac Newton's (1642-1727) and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's (1646-1716) invention of the calculus along with Newton's universal theory of gravitation and his study of optics. The next generation of mathematicians turned to finding physical confirmation of these mathematical theories and to applying new mathematical tools, such as differential equations. However, mathematicians who were not independently wealthy needed to somehow secure financial support for their work.

Professorships were not necessarily a viable...

This section contains 1,666 words(approx. 6 pages at 300 words per page) |