Pierre Simon, French physician, mathematician and astronomer, c 1800.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Pierre Simon, Marquis de Laplace (1749-1827) is considered to be one of the greatest minds following Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727). In 1796 he published the 'Exposition du Systeme du Monde' concerning astronomy. Between 1799 and 1825 Latham published five volumes to make the 'Mechanique Celeste', a seminal work on celestial mechanics. Laplace is probably best known for his work on lunar theory and solar systems.