Emilie du Chatelet

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Émilie du Châtelet
Marquise of Châtelet
Châtelet by Marianne Loir.
Full name
Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier
Born17 December 1706
Paris, France
Died10 September 1749 (aged 42)
Lunéville, Lorraine
Spouse(s)Florent Claude du Châtelet, Marquis of Châtelet
Gabrielle Pauline, Duchess of Montenero
Louis Marie, Duke of Châtelet
FatherLouis Nicolas Le Tonnelier, Baron of Breteuil
MotherGabrielle Anne de Froulay
OccupationFrench noblewoman best known for her Translation of Newton's Principia

Émilie du Châtelet was a French physicist. She was born on December 17, 1706, in Paris, France. Du Châtelet was born into an aristocratic family. She received an excellent education. Du Châtelet learned science, literature, and music. She married the Marquis of Châtelet. He lived away from Paris because he had a military and political career. They had three children. Du Châtelet took private lessons in maths from Pierre-Louis Moreau.

Du Châtelet had a 15-year affair with Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire. Voltaire recognised her talents. Châtelet helped Voltaire write his book, Elements of Newton’s Philosophy. She had an unwanted child with Jean François de Saint-Lambert when she was 42. She translated Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton into French while she was pregnant. She died from an infection six days after giving birth to her daughter. It was 1749.

Du Châtelet’s translation of Principia Mathematica is still used today. She knew that her work was not appreciated during her time. Years after she died, she was recognized as a role model for girls and women. Du Châtelet is still celebrated around the world for her work in Newtonian studies and mathematics.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Gabrielle-Emilie Du Châtelet, Marquise du." Encyclopedia of World Biography, Gale, 2002. Student Resources in Context, Accessed 29 Mar. 2017.