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St. Clair County Community College Library

Women in Science

Emilie du Chatalet (1706 - 1749)

Inconnu, portrait de madame Du Châtelet à sa table de travail, détail (château de Breteuil) -001

Born in 1706, Émilie du Châtelet was an intellectual in a time when women were not typically involved in academic pursuits. She learned to speak six languages and was educated in math and science. She is well known for her physics textbook, Institutions de physique, published in 1740. This text challenged and corrected some of Newton's mechanical theories. A prolific translator as well as a scientific mind, Châtelet partnered with Voltaire in translating some of Isaac Newton's ideas and theories, though she received only a thank you in the introduction for her work. She labored to retranslate the entire work on her own and it was published posthumously with an introduction by Voltaire. 

Source: Eschner, Kat. ""Five Things to Know About French Enlightenment Genius Émilie du Châtelet." 17 Dec. 2017. Accessed 19 Feb. 2019.

Image credit: Unknown (French art) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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