Loyola University Maryland

Department of Mathematics and Statistics


Marin Mersenne and his Pen Pals

Fr. Jean Turgeon

Loyola University Maryland
Jesuit Chair Department of Mathematics and Statistics

April 25, 2012

B03 Knott Hall


René Descartes, Pierre Gassendi, Evangelista Torricelli, Galileo Galilei, Blaise Pascal, Christiaan Huygens and Pierre de Fermat were among the mathematicians who exchanged letters with Marin Mersenne. This mathematician, mainly known to-day for the Mersenne Numbers, assumed the role of collective correspondent, thus publicizing and disseminating the work of some of the greatest thinkers of his age. In 1635, this group formed the informal, private Académie Parisienne, the precursor to the French Academy of Sciences. Certain topics discussed in that group are still debated now.

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