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Willem Jacob 'sGravesande

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26 Sept 1688

'sHertogenbosch, Netherlands

28 Feb 1742

Leiden, Netherlands

Willem 'sGravesande was a practising lawyer and he is important as an exponent of Newton 's philosophy in Europe. His early education was at home with a private tutor, the he studied law at Leiden writing a doctoral thesis on 'suicide'.

He practiced law at The Hague. Appointed as secretary to the Dutch Embassy, he was sent to England in 1715 to congratulate George I on has accession to the throne. While in London he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society . He got to know Newton , Desaguliers and John Keill at this time and, after returning to The Hague in 1716, he continued to correspond with Keill .

In 1717 'sGravesande became professor of mathematics and astronomy at Leiden. He became professor of philosophy at Leiden in 1734.

He taught and wrote many texts on Newtonian science and Keill 's contributions. Like Keill he conducted physics experiments in his lectures. 'sGravesande wrote textbooks on mathematics and philosophy. He also published and edited works of others, for example work by Huygens , Keill and Newton . 'sGravesande's book Mathematical Elements of Physics was very influential.

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