Antoine de Laloubère

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Antoine de Laloubère (24 August 1600 – 2 September 1664), a Jesuit, born in Languedoc, is chiefly known for an incorrect solution of Pascal's problems on the cycloid, which he gave in 1660, but he has a better claim to distinction in having been the first mathematician to study the properties of the helix.

Veterum geometria promota in septem de cycloide libris, 1660


Antoine de Lalouvère was born into an aristocratic family. On July 9, 1620, at the age of 20, he entered the Society of Jesus in Toulouse. After completing his religious training, he was ordained a priest in 1631 or 1632. He later taught humanities, rhetoric, theology, Hebrew and mathematics at the jesuit college of Toulouse.

With Cavalieri, Fermat, Vincentio, Kepler, Torricelli and Valerio, Lalouvere can be considered one of the forerunners of modern integral calculus. In his main work of 1651, Quadratura Circuli, he calculates volumes and centers of gravity by inverting the rule of Paul Guldin. As a geometer Lalouvère is also the first to have studied the properties of the helix.

In 1658, he was engaged in a resounding controversy with Blaise Pascal who accused him of plagiarizing Gilles de Roberval's solution of the roulette problem, an accusation which seems now unfounded. This conflict revived Lalouvère's interest in geometry - at that time he was a professor of theology - and he composed in 1660 'Veterum geometria promota in septem de cycloide libris'.

De Laloubère died at Toulouse on September 2, 1664.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Le titre complet est : Quadratura Circuli Et Hyperbolae Segmentorum ex dato eorum centro gravitatis, una cum inventione proportionis et centri gravitatis in portionibus sphaerae plurimorumque periphericorum, nec non tertragonismo absoluto certae cujusdam cylindri partis: Demonstrata atque ad calculum reducta adjumento librae Archimedeae et a materia divulsae, quam praesenti Opere restaurat atque amplificat
This article is based on a public domain article from Rouse History of Mathematics.


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