Chatelet's veiled contribution

Emilie Du Chatelet was an incredible woman. She lived during the 18th century, and was certainly out of place during her time. Her knowledge of mathematics, philosophy, and physics are several genre’s that come up when discussing Chatelet. She was a woman of many desires, including many alleged flings throughout her life. However, her contributions to science must be acknowledged and appreciated.

During her studies, she began to question Newton’s law explaining motion in regards of mass. Along with a physicist from across the sea, she was one of the first people, let alone a women, to realize that Newton’s law of motion regarding mass may be flawed. She heard of a man named Gottfried Liebniz who experimented with lead balls, dropping them at different heights, and ultimately determining that doubling the height actually squares the g of the ball. She concurred with his data, and decided to include it in her own book, sparking great controversy. Her illicit lover, the great Voltaire, did not agree with this notion. However, no one spoke for Emilie except herself. This contribution to the mainstream of science was a large one for her.  Unfortunately, at age 43, she gave birth to her 4th child and several days later passed away from an embolism.

 1749, the year of her death, she completed the work regarded as her most outstanding achievement: her translation into French, with her commentary, of Newton’s Principia. Today, that translation still remains the prominent edition of study in France.

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