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Marin Mersenne
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Mathematician
    (September 8, 1588-September 1, 1648)
    Born in Oize, France
    Mathematician, philosopher, theologian, music theorist and Catholic priest
    Famous for identifying 'Mersenne Primes'
    Called the 'Father of Acoustics'
    Discovered the cycloid, a type of curve
    First to publish laws related to vibrating strings
    Calculated the density of water
    Established friendships and/or a voluminous correspondence with all of the great scientific minds of his day enabling them to keep up with each other and their works. This informal network was called Academie Parisensis or Academie Mersenne and led to him being called, 'The center of the world of science and mathematics during the first half of the 1600's'
    MA from the Sorbonne
    Belonged to the Roman Catholic monastic order, Order of Minim Brothers
    Written works included; Quaestiones celeberrine in Genesia, L'lespiete des deistes, La Verite des sciences, and L' Universelle
    He was French.
    He is largely forgotten today and astonishingly there has never been an indepth biography written of him.
    He joined a very rigid monastic order but spent most of his time away from it.
    Some of his discoveries, such as Mersenne Primes and cycloids and what they are and do have nothing to do with the average person's day to day life.
    He was a vegetarian.
    What kind of person studies vibrating strings?
    He had a girl's first name.
    He never worked as a parish priest.
    The coolest toy of all time, Spirograph was derived from his work and consists almost entirely of cycloids.
    He had a staggering mind even by the standards of his time.
    His networking with all the great scientific minds of his day not only helped them keep up with each other's work and learn from it, but led to the rise of modern day scientific journals and scientific societies.
    He was friends or steady correspondents with among many others; Rene Descarte, Blaise, and Eitenne Pascal, Gailileo Galilei, Thomas Hobbes, and <1665.
    When he was being operated on for the lung infection that killed him, he (correctly) told the surgeon that he was operating in the wrong spot and before dying willed his body to science.
    He defended the teachings of Aristotle against the newer philosophical ideas of his day.
    He published his close friend Galileo's writings when no one else would.
    He savagely criticized astrology and the Kabahla.

Credit: tom_jeffords


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