Laplace and the Speed of Sound

  title={Laplace and the Speed of Sound},
  author={Bernard Finn},
  pages={7 - 19}
  • B. Finn
  • Published 1 March 1964
  • Education
  • Isis
OR A CENTURY and a quarter after Isaac Newton initially posed the problem in the Principia, there was a very apparent discrepancy of almost 20 per cent between theoretical and experimental values of the speed of sound. To remedy such an intolerable situation, some, like Newton, optimistically framed additional hypotheses to make up the difference; others, like J. L. Lagrange, pessimistically confessed the inability of contemporary science to produce a reasonable explanation. A study of the… 
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    The British Journal for the History of Science
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