Person: Morin, Jean-Baptiste
Jean-Baptiste Morin was a French astrologer and astronomer who attempted to solve the longitude problem using lunar observations.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- During the years 1613 to 1621 Morin was employed by the Bishop of Boulogne.
- During this period Morin published a defence of Aristotle (1624) and he also worked on optics.
- Morin was appointed professor of mathematics at the Collège Royal in 1630 and he was to hold this post until his death.
- Morin remained firmly convinced that the Earth was fixed in space.
- Morin is best remembered for his attempts to solve the longitude problem.
- Since Morin put forward his method for a longitude prize, a committee was set up by Cardinal Richelieu to evaluate it.
- Étienne Pascal, Mydorge, Beaugrand, Hérigone, J C Boulenger and L de la Porte served on the committee and they were in dispute with Morin for the five years after he made his proposal.
- Morin realised that instruments had to be improved, improved methods of solving spherical triangles had to be found and better lunar tables were needed.
- Morin refused to listen to objections to his proposal.
- Even while the dispute was going on, in 1638, Morin attacked Descartes saying that he had realised as soon as they met how bad his philosophy was.
- These disputes alienated Morin from the scientific community.
Born 23 February 1583, Villefranche, Beaujolais, France. Died 6 November 1656, Paris, France.
View full biography at MacTutor
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Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive