Authorised form of namePetit; Pierre (? 1594 - 1677); engineer and astronomer
Other forms of namePetit, Peter
Petitt, Pierre
Dates? 1594 - 1677
Dates and placesBirth:
Montlucon, France, Europe (8 December 1594)
Lagny-sur-Marne, France, Europe (20 August 1677)
ActivityResearch Field:
Physics, astronomy
Commissaire provincial de l'artillerie (1633); visited ports in France and Italy; friend of Blaise Pascal, with whom he did experiments on vacuums; Intendant-general des fortifications (1649)
Royal Society activityMembership:
Election Date:
Henry Oldenburg
Other RSActivity:
Acted as an occasional correspondent to the Society (1660s);
Sent papers on comets (1664 and 1665)
Published worksRCN: 58770
General contextPetit was acquainted with polymath Marin Mersenne and knew Blaise Pascal and Descartes. In his work, he emphasised the importance of accurate experimental observation and he supported the establishment of a royal observatory, in order to keep of with astronomical advancements across Europe. His main work 'Dissertation sur la nature des comètes' along with his studies on magnetic declination were praised by fellow scholars. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society despite England and France being at war, the War of Devolution.
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Bulloch's Roll; DSB; Biographie Universelle; Hunter
Altname from Hunter. Later birth date of 31 December 1598 from Hunter and DSB.
Virtual International Authority File
Royal Society codeNA4518
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
EL/P1/8Pierre Petit, dated at Paris, to the Royal Society27 May 1667
EL/P1/3Pierre Petit, dated at Paris, to Henry Oldenburg12 October 1663
EL/P1/4Pierre Petit to Henry Oldenburg17 November 1665
EL/P1/2Observations of the magnetic declination at Paris by Pierre Petit nd
EL/P1/7Translation of letter from Pierre Petit, dated at Paris, to Henry Oldenburg5 April 1667
EL/P1/9Pierre Petit, dated at Paris, to Henry Oldenburg8 May 1667
LBO/2/3Copy letter from Pierre Petit to Mr Oldenburgnd
EL/P1/6Pierre Petit's paper on magnetic declination1667
LBO/2/12Copy of a letter from Pierre Petit, Paris, to the Royal Socierty27 May 1667
EL/P1/1Pierre Petit, dated at Paris, to Henry Oldenburg23 October 1660
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