|David Eugene Smith (from columbia.edu)|
|Jean le Rond d'Alambert (from Wikipedia)|
While connected with French Academy of Sciences on the Left Bank, d'Alambert was a frequent guest at M-me Geoffrin's salon at No.374 Rue Saint Honore. Later he moved in the house of another well known hostess of her own salon Julie de Lespinasse. I will return to places on Rue Saint Honore later.
|Mausoleum to Monge in Pere Lachese cemetery|
Some places of historical-mathematical interest on the Right Bank:
On Rue de Rivoli you cannot miss 52 m tall tower - Tour Saint Jacques , all that remains there from former 16th century church. Blaise Pascal replicated Torichelli's experiment with barometer there - carried it up to the top of the tower and checked that mercury level has dropped. Pascal's statue now is at the base of the tower.
Pascal's calculator in Zwinger Museum in Dresden, this time I missed the opportunity to see the other copy signed by Pascal in Musee des Arts et Metiers. This museum is on my list to visit next time I am in Paris.
Palais du Louvre is known first and foremost as a museum which houses one of the most stunning collections of artworks in the world. Yet for almost seven hundred years the buildings constituted one of the principal residences of the kings and emperors of France. It became museum in 1793 and at that time the art collection was not large enough to fill all complex, so part of it was used for government offices and even residencies. For example, mathematician Legendre was asking for quarters for himself in the older part of the Louvre.
On a rainy day it was great to visit Louvre and to walk through it not rushing. We could look at the details and notice mathematical constructions in architecture or in famous artworks.
This time though we did not try to check all the possible uses of golden ratio in Venus de Milo or Mona Lisa like we tried in Milan couple years ago when finally got a chance to see The Last Supper and then alerted security guards performing suspicious activities by their standards. I was trying to follow straight lines with my fingers in front of my eyes to check whether they really intersect in a point just above the head of Jesus, David used his notebook to locate the vanishing point more precisely. Security guards surrounded us and demanded to inspect our hands. After they found nothing, they stared at us very puzzled. Then I politely said that we are mathematicians, which they took as some particular medical diagnosis.A Better Way to teach Math - "...very early in school many kids get the idea that they’re not in the smart group, especially in math. We kind of force a choice on them: to decide that either they’re dumb or math is dumb." Imagine walking in Paris with a little curious mind and big eyes next to you. In front of Louvre there will be a question - what is this big glass thing? Imagine all the different stories you can tell about pyramids - mathematical or not.
I can imagine some more questions -why this is Point Zero? What is zero? What it means omega? What is the symbol next to that word?
Indeed, I am getting carried away from what I started to write about. To speed thin gs up in my description I will just now quote David Eugene Smith about places connected with Voltaire and marquise du Châtelet
|In the frontispiece to their translation of Newton, du Châtelet is depicted as the muse of Voltaire, reflecting Newton's heavenly insights down to Voltaire.|
From David Eugene Smith's Historical-mathematical Paris:
If we rank Voltaire in our guild because of his work on the philosophy of Newton, we shall naturally find many spots in Paris connected with his name, and portraits and statues in great number and often of much excellence. The present Rue Moliere, running from the Avenue de l'Opera to the Rue Richelieu, for example, was once the Rue Traversiere, and at the old number 25 was a house which was rented to the Marquise du Chatelet,4 and there Voltaire lived for some time, setting up a little theatre for his plays. Around the corner, at No. 8 of the Rue de Richelieu, the street on which the Bibliotheque Nationale fronts, was the cafe of Charlotte Bourette, who was known as the Muse Limonadiere, and whom Voltaire esteemed for her wit.
|Rue Richelieu No.102|
|no cafe there anymore|
Hotel de Sully on Rue Saint-Antoine
|The Place de la Bastille|
|Place de Vosges|
|Place Franz Liszt in Paris(from wikipedia)|