Euler and the Bernoullis
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Sophie Germain set out to derive the mathematical theory to describe the complex phenomena manifested on Chladni’s vibrating plates. To do that, Germain sought to obtain a clear understanding of the theories advanced by Euler, the Bernoullis, d’Alembert, and Lagrange, and she tried to extend and improve their analysis. This was a daunting task. Her predecessors had worked for many years to formulate the mathematical foundation for elasticity that was in place in 1809.