Pierre Bouguer

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Bouguer, Pierre


Born Feb. 16, 1698, in Le Croisic, Brittany; died Aug. 15, 1758, in Paris. French physicist; one of the founders of photometry. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1731).

At age 15, after his father’s death, Bouguer replaced him in his duties as a professor of hydrography. Bouguer was the first to establish the concept of a quantity of light, formulate the basic position of visual photometry (the principle of light gradation), describe photometric instruments, and work out methods of measuring the brightness of light. In 1729 he established the law of the weakening of a light ray in an absorbing medium. He was the author of Treatise About the Ship (1746) and A New Work on Navigation, Containing the Theory and Practice of the Navigational Art (1753), which were of great importance in the development of ships and shipping. From 1735 to 1743, along with C. M. de la Condamine, Bouguer headed an expedition organized by the Paris Academy of Sciences, which carried out grade measurements in Peru with the goal of defining the earth’s shape.


In Russian translation:
Opticheskii traktat o gradatsii sveta. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950. (With a bibliography of Bouguer’s works.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Analogously, Pagano identified the fabulous Atlantis on the American continent, a conclusion based on a comparison of Pierre Bouguer's (1749) travel diary (where he found a description of the physical characteristics of America) with the tales of Egyptian mythology, the fable of Phaethon and the fable of Vulcan.
A mob murdered a team member and wounded Pierre Bouguer, who was the unsung hero of the mission.
Astronomer Louis Godin, mathematician Pierre Bouguer and geographer Charles Marie de La Condamine offer a snapshot of another time.
Ferreiro traces the pursuit of this emerging ship science through the work of key individuals, most notably Pierre Bouguer, the "father of naval architecture." The book also takes a topical approach, focusing on efforts to develop the major concepts of ship design, including the proper configuration and placement of masts and sails, hull resistance in water, hull displacement, buoyancy, the center of gravity, and the metacenter.
Ferreiro's great hero is Pierre Bouguer (1698-1758), a gifted mathematician who, during a geodesic mission to the Andes from 1735 to 1743, found time to write Traite du navire, de sa construction, et de ses mouvements, the most influential book on the science of ship design in the period.
Only later, when Godin became overbearing, did La Condamine and a gifted mathematician named Pierre Bouguer step in to manage the task together.