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There cannot be a language more universal and more simple, more free from errors and obscurities...more worthy to express the invariable relations of all natural things [than mathematics]. [It interprets] all phenomena by the same language, as if to attest the unity and simplicity of the plan of the universe, and to make still more evident that unchangeable order which presides over all natural causes
Joseph Fourier
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A very extensive class of phenomena exists, not produced by mechanical forces, but resulting simply from the presence and accumulation of heat. This part of natural philosophy cannot be connected with dynamical theories, it has principles peculiar to itself, and is founded on a method similar to that of other exact sciences.
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The differential equations of the propagation of heat express the most general conditions, and reduce the physical questions to problems of pure analysis, and this is the proper object of theory.
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Profound study of nature is the most fertile source of mathematical discoveries.
Joseph Fourier
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The effects of heat are subject to constant laws which cannot be discovered without the aid of mathematical analysis.
Joseph Fourier
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Primary causes are unknown to us; but are subject to simple and constant laws, which may be discovered by observation, the study of them being the object of natural philosophy.
Heat, like gravity, penetrates every substance of the universe, its rays occupy all parts of space. The object of our work is to set forth the mathematical laws which this element obeys. The theory of heat will hereafter form one of the most important branches of general physics.
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If we consider further the manifold relations of this mathematical theory to civil uses and the technical arts, we shall recognize completely the extent of its applications. It is evident that it includes an entire series of distinct phenomena, and that the study of it cannot be omitted without losing a notable part of the science of nature.
The principles of the theory are derived, as are those of rational mechanics, from a very small number of primary facts, the causes of which are not considered by geometers, but which they admit as the results of common observations confirmed by all experiment.
Joseph Fourier
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Men grow to the stature to which they are stretched when they are young.
Antony Jay
Joseph Fourier
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Born:
March 21, 1768
Died:
May 16, 1830
(aged 62)
Bio:
Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier was a French mathematician and physicist born in Auxerre and best known for initiating the investigation of Fourier series and their applications to problems of heat transfer and vibrations.
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