Pierre Louis Maupertuis
Pierre-Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (July 17, 1698 – July 27, 1759) was a French mathematician, philosopher and man of letters. He became the Director of the Académie des Sciences, and the first President of the Berlin Academy of Science, at the invitation of Frederick the Great. Maupertuis made an expedition to Lapland to determine the shape of the earth. He is often credited with having invented the principle of least action.
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- Nature always uses the simplest means to accomplish its effects.
- Formulation of the principle of least action, as stated in Mémoires de l'académie royale des sciences (Accord between different laws of Nature that seemed incompatible), 1748, 417-426 (15 April 1744).