Gaspard de Coriolis (1792-1843)

The French physicist Gustave-Gaspard Coriolis (1792 - 1843), a Parisian by birth, studied and taught at the Ecole Polytechnique, becoming assistant professor of analysis and mechanics in 1816. He was the first to give precise definitions of work and kinetic energy in his work Du calcul de l'effet des machines (1829; On the Calculation of Mathematical Action) and he particularly studied the apparent effect of a change in the coordinate system on these quantities.

From this latter research grew his most famous discovery. In 1835, while studying rotating coordinate systems, he arrived at the idea of the Coriolis force. In 1838 Coriolis stopped teaching and became director of studies at the Polytechnique, but his poor health grew worse and he died five years later.

Related features:

The Coriolis effect