Jesuit Scientists and Inventors


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Tommaso Ceva (1648 – 1737), Italian Jesuit mathematician and poet: His Opuscula Mathematica which was published in 1699 dealt with geometry, gravity and arithmetics.

François d'Aguilon (1567 - 1617), Belgian Jesuit mathematician, physicist and architect: wrote a book containing the principles of the stereographic and the orthographic projections, and it inspired the works of Desargues and Christiaan Huygens.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 - 1955), French Jesuit paleontologist and geologist: took part in the discovery of both Piltdown Man and Peking Man.

Christopher Clavius (1538 – 1612), German Jesuit mathematician and astronomer: the main architect of the modern Gregorian calendar.

Jean Charles de La Faille (1597 - 1652), Flemish Jesuit mathematician: In his most famous book Theoremata de centro gravitatis partium circuli et ellipsis (1632) he determined the centre of gravity of the sector of a circle, for the first time.

Christoph Grienberger (1561 - 1636), Austrian Jesuit astronomer: published a book about star-charts and a set of trigonometric tables; the crater Gruemberger on the Moon is named after him.

Athanasius Kircher (1601 - 1680), German Jesuit scholar: In his Scrutinium Pestis of 1658 he noted the presence of "little worms" or "animalcules" in the blood, and concluded that disease was caused by microorganisms.

Vincenzo Riccati (1707 - 1775), Italian mathematician and physicist: his main intersts included differential equations and physics. The Riccati equation is named after his father.

Matteo Ricci (1552 - 1610), Italian Jesuit priest, and one of the founding figures of the Jesuit China Mission, as it existed in the 17th-18th centuries. Wrote a few books in chinese, among them one that introduced the logical construction in Euclid's Elements for the first time.

Giovanni Girolamo Saccheri (1667 - 1733), Italian Jesuit priest, scholastic philosopher, and mathematician: was perhaps the first European to write about Non-Euclidean geometry.

Pietro Angelo Secchi (1818 - 1878), Italian astronomer: discovered the existence of solar spicules (dynamic jet of about 500 km diameter in the chromosphere of the Sun) and drew an early map of Mars.

André Tacquet (1612 - 1660), Flemish mathematician and Jesuit Priest: His work prepared ground for the eventual discovery of the calculus.

Ignace Pardies (1636- 1673), French: influenced Newton's theory of colors.


Jesuit Scientist and Inventor Biographies
Jesuits and the Sciences: 1540-1999 - LUC Libraries
List of Jesuit scientists - Wikipedia

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