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What's This?Joseph-Louis Lagrange (25 January 1736 – 10 April 1813), born Giuseppe Lodovico (Luigi) Lagrangia, was a mathematician and astronomer born in Turin, Piedmont, who lived part of his life in Prussia and part in France. He made significant contributions to all fields of analysis, number theory, and classical and celestial mechanics.

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Lagrange developed a generalization such that if the sources of energy are specified and the physical relationships of the materials can be expressed - that is, their pressure as a function of volume and temperature: their equations of state - a concise set of equations predicting the behavior of the material can be explicitly written. Using this result, the Lagrangian differential formulation, in principle the basic method for describing the evolution of material conditions throughout the devices - their trajectory in space and time - is in hand.

Mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange made significant contributions to celestial mechanics, the area of math that deals with the movements of planets, moons and various other objects in space – including rockets. “Newton’s second law–force equals mass times acceleration–beautifully describes many simple physical systems when forces are known,” says Dorrance, a junior majoring in physics with the nanotechnology option. “Lagrangian mechanics lets you solve some less-than-simple systems without knowing the forces.”

Lagrange points, named after their discoverer, Joseph Louis Lagrange, are five special points around two orbiting bodies where gravity allows a third, smaller body to orbit at a fixed distance from the larger bodies.

Joseph-Louis Lagrange is particularly known for his uncompromisingly formal approach to analysis and mechanics. He viewed all functions as power series and attempted to reduce all mechanics to the analysis of such functions, without the use of geometry. At his death Lagrange left examples to follow, new problems to solve, and techniques to develop in all branches of mathematics.

Joseph-Louis LaGrange was a theoretical mathematician whose work often revolved around practical applications in astronomy. The areas of mathematics in which LaGrange made contributions include calculus, differential equations, number theory, probability, and algebra. In addition to work related to astronomy, LaGrange researched sound and the vibrations of strings.

Lagrange points are imaginary points in space where objects sent there will stay put. A French-Italian mathematician named Joseph-Louis Lagrange, born in 1736, discovered their existence during his study of planetary physics.

Lagrange believed that in a two-body system, such as the Earth and the Sun, there would be five points nearby where an object could be sent and remain in place.

Enter Joseph-Louis Lagrange. He theorized that at certain points, the gravity of two bodies would cancel out one another and halt the motion of the spacecraft, keeping it in one spot.

A drawing of Joseph-Louis Lagrange. Lagrange was right. And now, NASA is using those points in space as parking spots for spacecraft which are discovering the secrets of the universe.

Napoleon named him to the Legion of Honour and Count of Empire in 1808. In 1813 he was named grand croix of the Order Imperial de la Reunion. He died a week later in Paris at the age of 77. He is one of 72 French scientists that are commemorated on the Eiffel Tower and has a moon crater named in his honor: Crater LaGrange.

He was seized with a hypochondriacal affection and with bilious disorders, which accompanied him throughout his life, and which were only allayed by his great abstemiousness and careful regimen. He was bled twenty-nine times, an infliction which alone would have affected the most robust constitutions.

In early life he evinced no aptitude for mathematics, but seemed to have been given over entirely to the pursuits of pure literature; for at fifteen we find him teaching mathematics in an artillery school in Turin, and at nineteen he had made the greatest discovery in mathematical science since that of the infinitesimal calculus, namely, the creation of the algorism and method of the Calculus of Variations.