In Our Time: History

In Our Time: History

BBC Radio 4

Historical themes, events and key individuals from Akhenaten to Xenophon.

Radio: BBC Radio Cymru 2

Categories: Education

Listen to the last episode:

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss Laplace (1749-1827) who was a giant in the world of mathematics both before and after the French Revolution. He addressed one of the great questions of his age, raised but side-stepped by Newton: was the Solar System stable, or would the planets crash into the Sun, as it appeared Jupiter might, or even spin away like Saturn threatened to do? He advanced ideas on probability, long the preserve of card players, and expanded them out across science; he hypothesised why the planets rotate in the same direction; and he asked if the Universe was deterministic, so that if you knew everything about all the particles then you could predict the future. He also devised the metric system and reputedly came up with the name 'metre'. With Marcus du Sautoy Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science and Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford Timothy Gowers Professor of Mathematics at the College de France And Colva Roney-Dougal Professor of Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews Producer: Simon Tillotson

Previous episodes

  • 308 - Pierre-Simon Laplace 
    Thu, 08 Apr 2021
  • 307 - The Russo-Japanese War 
    Thu, 01 Apr 2021
  • 306 - David Ricardo 
    Thu, 25 Mar 2021
  • 305 - Marcus Aurelius 
    Thu, 25 Feb 2021
  • 304 - The Plague of Justinian 
    Thu, 21 Jan 2021
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