Mathematician:Jean le Rond d'Alembert

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French mathematician, physicist and philosopher best known for his contribution to the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra -- he produced a flawed proof which was later patched up by Gauss.

Devised a technique for solving the linear second order ODE with constant coefficients whose auxiliary equation has repeated roots.




  • Born: 16 November 1717, Paris
  • 1741: Elected into the Académie des Sciences, after several failed attempts
  • 1746: Elected to the Berlin Academy
  • 1754: Elected a member of the Académie française
  • 9 April 1772: Became Permanent Secretary of the Académie française
  • Died: 29 October 1783, Paris

Theorems and Definitions

  • Famously expressed a belief in Croix ou Pile in the Gambler's Fallacy: the more times a coin comes up tails, the more likely it then is to come up heads.

Results named for Jean le Rond d'Alembert can be found here.


  • 1740: Mémoire sur la réfraction des corps solides (Memorandum on the refraction of solid bodies), recognised by Clairaut.
  • 1743: Traité de dynamique
  • Preliminary Discourse to the Encyclopedia of Diderot
  • Croix ou Pile

Also known as

Full name: Jean-Baptiste le Rond d'Alembert.