Siméon Denis Poisson
French mathematician, mechanician and physicist (1781–1840)
Siméon-Denis Poisson (21 June 1781 – 25 April 1840) was a French mathematician, geometer, and physicist who specialized in applying mathematics to a wide variety of physics fields, including electricity, magnetism, hydrodynamics and celestial mechanics.
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- In many different fields, empirical phenomena appear to obey a certain general law, which can be called the Law of Large Numbers. This law states that the ratios of numbers derived from the observation of a very large number of similar events remain practically constant, provided that these events are governed partly by constant factors and partly by variable factors whose variations are irregular and do not cause a systematic change in a definite direction.
- Statement of Poisson's law also known as the Law of Large Numbers (1837), as quoted by Richard Von Mises (1957). Probability, Statistics and Truth. Allen and Unwin. p. 104-105.
- That which can affect our senses in any manner whatever, is termed matter.
- Introductory sentence of Siméon-Denis Poisson, translated by Henry Hickman Harte (1842). A Treatise of Mechanics. Longman and co. p. 1.
- La vie n'est bonne qu'à deux choses : à faire des mathématiques et à les professer. (The only two good things in life are doing mathematics and teaching it.)
- quoted by François Arago in Notices biographiques, Volume 2, 1854, p. 662.