Seduced by Logic: Emilie Du Chatelet, Mary Somerville and the Newtonian Revolution

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University of Queensland Press, 2011 - Mathematicians - 352 pages
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From the acclaimed author of Einstein's Heroes, comes the gripping story of two of the most glamorous and influential women of mathematicsIssac Newton's Principiachanged forever humanity's understanding of its place in the universe - not with the traditional tools of theology or philosophy but with the seductive logic of mathematics. But it was feisty French aristocratic Émilie du Châtelet who played a key role in bring Newton's revolutionary opus to a Continental audience. Together with her lover Voltaire, Émilie - a largely self taught scholar - personified the exciting mix of science, literature, politics and philosophy that defined the Enlightenment. A century later, In Scotland, Mary Somerville taught herself mathematics and rose from genteel poverty to become a world authority on Newtonian physics. Mary's many books, and her charm, made her a legend in her own lifetime. Connected by their passion for mathematics, Mary and Émilie bring to life a defining period in science and politics, revealing the intimate links between the unfolding Newtonian revolution and the origins of intellectual and political liberty. Seduced by Logicis a thrilling foray into the lives of these extraordinary women - and the fascinating ideas that seduced them both. PRAISE FOR ROBYN ARIANRHOD'SEINSTEIN'S HEROES 'Robyn Arianrhod's passion for mathematics is so infectious, you'll scream 'Eureka' when you read her book.' HERALD-SUN 'I read this exhilarating book as I would a novel. Arianrhod combines a passion for her subject with an erudition that is rate for a storyteller' Robyn Williams, ABC'S THE SCIENCE SHOW

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