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Book Chapter

Navier, Claude-Louis-Marie-Henri

Published:
January 01, 2007

Abstract

During the French Revolution, Navier’s father was a lawyer to the Legislative Assembly at Paris and his mother’s uncle, the engineer Emiland Gauthey, worked in the head office of the Corps des Ponts et Chaussées at Paris. After her husband’s death in 1793, Navier’s mother moved back to Chalon-sur-Saône and left her son in Paris, under the tutelage of her uncle. In 1802, after receiving preparation from his granduncle, Navier entered the École Polytechnique near the bottom of the list; but he did so well during his first year that he was one of ten students sent to work in the field at Boulogne instead of spending their second year in Paris. Navier’s first year at the École Polytechnique had critical significance for the formation of his scientific style, which reflects that of Fourier because the latter was briefly his professor of analysis. He subsequently became Fourier’s protégé and friend.

In 1804 Navier entered the École des Ponts et Chaussées, from which he graduated in 1806 near the top of his class. After spending a few months in the field, he was brought to Paris to edit the works of his granduncle, who had just died and who had become France’s leading engineer. Navier, who seems to have been insecure financially, lived for the rest of his life in the St.-Germain-des-Prés quarter of Paris. His wife, Marie Charlot, whom he married around 1812, came from a family of small landowners in Burgundy.

Navier was a member of the Société Philomatique (1819) and of the Académie des Sciences (1824). In 1831 he became Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. From 1819 he taught and had complete charge of the courses in applied mechanics at the École des Ponts et Chaussées but did not become titular professor until 1830, when A.-J. Eisenmann died. In 1831 Navier replaced Cauchy at the École Polytechnique. Navier participated in Saint-Simonianism and the positivist movements. He had Auguste Comte appointed to be one of his assistants at the École Polytechnique and participated actively in Raucourt de Charleville’s Institut de la Morale Universelle.

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Contents

Society of Exploration Geophysicists Geophysics Reprint Series

Classics of Elastic Wave Theory

Michael A. Pelissier
Michael A. Pelissier
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Henning Hoeber
Henning Hoeber
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Norbert van de Coevering
Norbert van de Coevering
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Ian F. Jones
Ian F. Jones
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
24
ISBN electronic:
9781560801931
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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