Quotations by Gaspard de Prony


[Lagrange's foundations of the calculus] is assuredly a very interesting part of what one might call purely philosophical study; but when it is a case of making transcendental analysis an instrument of exploration for questions presented by astronomy, marine, geodesy, and the different branches of the science of the engineer, the consideration of the infinitely small leads to the aim in a manner [which is] more felicitous, more prompt, and more immediately adapted to the nature of the questions, and this is why the Leibnizian method has, in general, prevailed in French schools.

[Delambre on de Prony's tables] These tables will not serve in the usual cases, but only in extraordinary cases.


JOC/EFR February 2006

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