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Giovanni Poleni

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23 Aug 1683

Venice, Italy

15 Nov 1761

Padua, Italy

Giovanni Poleni studied first philosophy and then theology in Venice. He began a judicial career but, after being introduced to mathematics and science by his father, he went on to accept the chair of astronomy at the University of Padua in 1709. In 1715 he became, in addition to his astronomy chair, professor of physics.

Poleni was invited to investigate the problem of hydraulics relating to the irrigation of Lower Lombardy.

He was appointed to the chair of mathematics at Padua in 1719 which had been vacated by Nicolaus(II) Bernoulli . In 1738 he acquired a laboratory to conduct physics experiments and began to lecture on this topic.

Poleni worked on hydraulics, physics, astronomy and archaeology. He conducted meteorological observations. His work was honoured by the award of a number of prizes, for calculating the distance travelled by a ship, for a study of ship's anchors, and for a study of cranes and windlasses.

Source:School of Mathematics and Statistics University of St Andrews, Scotland