By Johan C.-E. Stén
The Finnish mathematician and astronomer Anders Johan Lexell (1740–1784) used to be a long-time shut collaborator in addition to the educational successor of Leonhard Euler on the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg. Lexell was once at first invited via Euler from his local city of Abo (Turku) in Finland to Saint Petersburg to aid within the mathematical processing of the astronomical info of the impending transit of Venus of 1769. many years later he turned a typical member of the Academy. this is often the first-ever full-length biography dedicated to Lexell and his prolific medical output. His wealthy correspondence particularly from his grand travel to Germany, France and England unearths him as a lucid observer of the highbrow panorama of enlightened Europe. within the skies, a comet, a minor planet and a crater at the Moon named after Lexell additionally perpetuate his memory.
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Extra resources for A Comet of the Enlightenment: Anders Johan Lexell's Life and Discoveries
As there generally was no heating in the classrooms, the students had to endure the lectures in extreme conditions during 6 The complimentary poem written by Fredrik Pryss (1741–1767) suggests, however, that Lexell was considered the most zealous and talented student of his class (Lexell assiduos inter celebrandus alumnos, qui claret studiis ingenioque suo). e. ranked first of his class. 7 It will be remembered that Queen Christina of Sweden had ordered Descartes to begin his lectures in the Royal Castle of Stockholm at 5 o’clock.
Newton’s Principia, the Cologne edition from 1760), but since these books were very valuable, Lexell may have acquired them later. The number of books on mathematics, physics, chemistry and astronomy in the academic library in Åbo was limited: However, the Opera of both Jakob and Johann Bernoulli, the principal works of Leibniz, ’s Gravesande and Musschenbroek had been acquired before the 1750s . The catalogues of scientific literature compiled by Johan Gadolin and Gustaf Gabriel Hällström in the 1820s (HUB Ms.
In spite of this, Cartesianism did not vanish from natural philosophy altogether, in particular to ensure mechanical explanations in physics. g. of linear momentum and vis viva) were substantially developed during the eighteenth century. In the second half of the eighteenth century, conservation of mass in chemical reactions became the cornerstone of modern chemistry, as did the conservation of the imponderable electric and magnetic substances, or “fluids”, as they were called at that time, for electromagnetism [64, 69].
A Comet of the Enlightenment: Anders Johan Lexell's Life and Discoveries by Johan C.-E. Stén