Gabrielle-Émilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil

The Marquise du Châtelet, née Gabrielle-Émilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil (1706 - 1749) French mathematician and physicist. The daughter of an important functionary in King Louis XIV’s court, she was well-educated in languages, sciences, mathematics, arts and sports. Barely 20, she married the Marquis du Châtelet and bore him three children, possibly by other men. To educate her children, she wrote a textbook on physics and made a French translationMathworldPlanetmathPlanetmath of Isaac Newton’s Philosophie naturalis principia mathematica that is still used today. Her approximation emv2 (the energy e of a moving object is proportional to its mass m times the square of its velocity v) presaged Einstein’s equation e=mc2 by a century and a half.


  • 1 G. J. Tee “Gabrielle-Émilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet” in Women of Mathematics: A Bibliographic Sourcebook L. Grinstein, P. Cambpell, ed.s New York: Greenwood Press (1987): 21 - 25
Title Gabrielle-Émilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil
Canonical name GabrielleEmilieLeTonnelierDeBreteuil
Date of creation 2013-03-22 16:41:52
Last modified on 2013-03-22 16:41:52
Owner Mravinci (12996)
Last modified by Mravinci (12996)
Numerical id 7
Author Mravinci (12996)
Entry type Biography
Classification msc 01A50
Synonym Gabrielle-Émilie le Tonnelier de Breteuil
Synonym Marquise du Chatelet
Synonym Châtelet
Synonym Chatelet
Synonym Émilie Breteuil
Synonym Emilie Breteuil
Synonym Émilie du Châtelet
Synonym Emilie du Chatelet