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Born 1654; died Dec. 22, 1722, in Paris. French mathematician and specialist in mechanics. Member of the Paris Academy of Sciences (1688). Professor of mathematics at the Collège Mazarin (from 1688) and professor at the Collège de France (from 1704).
The works of Varignon were devoted to theoretical mechanics, analysis of infinitesimals, geometry, and hydromechanics. His most famous works were on geometric statics. In Project on New Mechanics … (1687), he gave a precise formulation of the law of the parallelogram of forces, developed the concept of the moment of forces, and worked out the so-called Varignon’s theorem. In his treatise New Mechanics of Statics, a Plan of Which Was Given in 1687 (1725), Varignon systematically set forth a study of the addition and resolution of forces and moments of forces, and the laws by which they operate.