Marin Mersenne

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Marin Mersenne
BirthplaceOizé, Maine
Known for Acoustics
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mersenne, Marin


Born Sept. 8, 1588, in Oizé, Maine; died Sept. 1, 1648, in Paris. French physicist.

Mersenne was educated in a Jesuit school and subsequently entered the Order of St. Francis. He lived in the order’s monasteries, where he taught philosophy and theology. Mersenne studied various physical phenomena, and his most significant works dealt with musical acoustics. He was the first to determine the propagation velocity of sound in the atmosphere. He also proposed a scheme for a reflecting telescope. Mersenne conducted an extensive correspondence with prominent scientists of his day, including Galileo, R. Descartes, C. Huygens, B. Pascal, E. Torricelli, P. de Fermat, and P. Gassendi. This correspondence promoted the dissemination and discussion of scientific discoveries and the establishment of contacts between scientists.


Traité de l’harmonie universelle, oú est contenue la musique theorique et pratique des anciens et modernes. Paris, 1627.
Correspondance du P. Marin Mersenne Réligieux minime, vols. 1–11. Published by Mme Paul Tannery. Paris, 1932–70.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mersenne primes are named in honor of Marin Mersenne, a French friar who studied them almost four centuries ago.
Moreover, as Sjokvist shows, Vallerius brought the most up-to-date scientific and philosophical models to bear upon his work, building on the writings of such figures as Rene Descartes and Marin Mersenne. Certainly, with Vallerius's De sono, Uppsala University took a great stride forward in the study of music theory.
Although there are an infinite amount of prime numbers, the hunt for the largest has in recent years centred on rare Mersenne primes, named after Marin Mersenne, a 17th-century French monk and mathematician.
Interesting, too, are the connections (little discussed by McGowan beyond a few pages on Marin Mersenne) between budding scientific interest in the mechanics of motion, Neoplatonic musings on the harmony of the heavens, and the rage for dance.
Essays address music functioning within esoteric and scientific traditions and theories and works by authors like Marsilio Ficino, Tommaso Campanella, Athanasius Kircher, Johannes Kepler, Marin Mersenne, Abu Ma'shar, and Giovanni Battista della Porta, or the influence of those traditions on musical works, such as pieces by John Dowland, Ferruccio Busoni, Orlando di Lasso, Alexander Scriabin, and Anton Webern.
Euclid discussed them in 350 BC but they bear the name of the 17th century French monk, Marin Mersenne, who made a study of them.
He examines, in particular, the relevance of Marin Mersenne's recently rediscovered treatise L'usage de la raison (1623).
Scholars whose research concerns the philosophers Rene Descartes and Marin Mersenne, the poet and historian P.
It is against the lively discourse of the Renaissance thinkers that Palisca then summarizes the positions taken in the next century by Athanasius Kircher, Descartes, and Marin Mersenne.
He summarizes the theories and the trial and the prevailing French intellectual climate, then reports on early contacts and the responses by Marin Mersenne, Peiresc and Gassendi, and Descartes.

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