# Pierre-Simon Laplace

## French polymath (1749–1827) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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**Pierre-Simon, Marquis de Laplace** (/ləˈplɑːs/; French: [pjɛʁ simɔ̃ laplas]; 23 March 1749 – 5 March 1827) was a French scholar and polymath whose work was important to the development of engineering, mathematics, statistics, physics, astronomy, and philosophy. He summarized and extended the work of his predecessors in his five-volume *Mécanique céleste* (*Celestial Mechanics*) (1799–1825). This work translated the geometric study of classical mechanics to one based on calculus, opening up a broader range of problems. In statistics, the Bayesian interpretation of probability was developed mainly by Laplace.^{[2]}

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Laplace formulated Laplace's equation, and pioneered the Laplace transform which appears in many branches of mathematical physics, a field that he took a leading role in forming. The Laplacian differential operator, widely used in mathematics, is also named after him. He restated and developed the nebular hypothesis of the origin of the Solar System and was one of the first scientists to suggest an idea similar to that of a black hole,^{[3]} with Stephen Hawking stating that "Laplace essentially predicted the existence of black holes".^{[1]}

Laplace is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of all time. Sometimes referred to as the *French Newton* or *Newton of France*, he has been described as possessing a phenomenal natural mathematical faculty superior to that of almost all of his contemporaries.^{[4]}
He was Napoleon's examiner when Napoleon graduated from the *École Militaire* in Paris in 1785.^{[5]} Laplace became a count of the Empire in 1806 and was named a marquis in 1817, after the Bourbon Restoration.