Pierre Duhem Timeline

Timeline created by Anlonidier
  • Pierre Maurice Marie Duhem is Born

    Our timeline begins with the birth of Pierre Duhem in Paris on the Rue des Jeûneurs to parents Pierre-Joseph Duhem and Alexandrine Fabre (Ariew).
  • Starts School

    This year, Pierre Duhem began his exceptional education learning grammar, arithmetic, Latin and catechism (Ariew). Catechism teaches the foundations of Catholicism or Lutheranism.
  • Studies at Collège Stanislas

    Studies at Collège Stanislas
    Pierre Duhem considered his time at college as central to his work as a physicist and cites Jules Mourtier, his science teacher, as one of his most important influences (Ariew).
  • Enrolls in Ecole Normale Supérieure

    Pierre Duhem begins his collegiate education at a prestigious university. Although it usually took 3 years to complete the curriculum, Duhem was granted an extra 2 years for his studies.
  • First Publication

    Even before receiving his license, Pierre Duhem publishes a scientific paper on electrochemical cells (O'Connor).
  • A Thesis is Rejected

    A Thesis is Rejected
    Duhem presents a thesis on thermodynamic potential titled "Le potentiel thermodynamique et ses applications à la mécanique chimique et à l’étude des phénomènes électriques" for his doctorate. Duhem was attempting to unite the thermodynamics of physics with the mechanics of chemistry and electricity. The panel rejects Duhem's thesis for seemingly complex political, social, and emotional reasons (Ariew). Duhem, confident in his work, publishes his thesis anyway the following year (O'Connor).
  • Thermodynamics Publication #1

    Leaning on the work of J WIllard Gibbs, Pierre Duhem publishes a paper on thermodynamics called "Étude sur les travaux thermodynamiques de J Willard Gibbs" (O'Connor).
  • The Student Becomes the Teacher

    Pierre Duhem begins teaching at Lille, before earning his doctorate. He teaches elasticity, acoustics, and hydrodynamics (O'Connor).
  • A Second Thesis

    Duhem presents and successfully defends his thesis in applied mathematics on magnetic influence titled "Sur l’aimantation par influence". With this successful defense, Pierre Duhem earns his doctorate (Ariew).
  • Love is in the Air

    Pierre Duhem married the love of his life, Adèle Chayet, whom he met at the Faculté des Sciences at Lille where he was the Maitre de Conférences (Ariew).
  • Lectures Published

    Duhem publishes the lectures he taught at Lille (O'Connor).
  • Tragedy Strikes

    After a successful pregnancy the previous year, Pierre's wife Adèle dies giving birth to their second child. Unfortunately the child does not survive. Pierre Duhem is heartbroken and would not go on to remarry (Ariew).
  • Thermodynamics Publication #2

    Duhem publishes a second paper on the principles of thermodynamics titled "Commentaire aux principes de la theormodynamique" (O'Connor).
  • A New Appointment

    A dispute with the Dean of Lille leads Duhem to request another position. Pierre Duhem becomes the maître de conférence at Rennes, but his tenure is short-lived as the university is not well equipped for his work (O'Connor).
  • Professor of Theoretical Physics

    Pierre Duhem becomes a professor at the University of Bordeaux. Although he is an outstanding scientist, Duhem is blocked from moving to Paris due to conflicts with Berthelot, the French Minister of Education, over his failed thesis on thermodynamics and his adherence to Catholicism (O'Connor).
  • Thermodynamcis Publication #3

    Pierre Duhem publishes a treatsie titled "Thermodynamique et chimie" unifying thermodynamics and chemistry (O'Connor).
  • History and Philosophy Meet Science

    Pierre Duhem wrote a paper titled "L'évolution de la mécanique" on mechanical evolution which studied not only the history of physics and it's mechanical applications, but also delves into philosophy (O'Connor).
  • Thermodynamics Publication #4

    Thermodynamics Publication #4
    Duhem publishes a two-volume work on hydrodynamics titled "Recherches sur l'hydrodynamique" (O'connor).
  • Thermodynamics Publication #5

    Pierre Duhem publishes a treatise on elasticity called "Recherches sur l'élasticité" (O'Connor).
  • A Contribution to the Philosophy of Science

    Pierre Duhem publishes a theory of physics which examines the goal and structure of physical science titled "La Théorie physique, son objet et sa structure" (O'Connor).
  • A Unified World System

    A Unified World System
    Pierre Duhem begins writing an awe-inspiring 10 volume publication called " Le Système du monde, Histoire des doctrines cosmologiques, de Platon à Coperni" which once again brings together mechanical science with history and philosophy. Unfortunately only 5 of the 10 volumes would be completed before his death (O'Connor).
  • The Death of a Giant

    The Death of a Giant
    While on vacation to a family home near Carcasonne (Ariew), Pierre Duham suffers a probable heart attack, or chest infection, and dies (O'Connor).