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borndied
1751, Mar 31839, Apr 8
a Genevan philosopher and physicist. In 1791 he explained Pictet's experiment by arguing that all bodies radiate heat, no matter how hot or cold they are. Son of a Protestant clergyman in Geneva in the Republic of Geneva, he was born in that city and was educated for a clerical career. However, he abandoned it for law, and this too he quickly deserted to devote himself to education and to travelling. Frederick II of Prussia secured him in 1780 as professor of philosophy and made him member of the Akademie der Wissenschaften in Berlin.
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