Unknown lectures of Jan Sniadecki from the years 1784-1785
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The paper contains three lectures presented by Jan Sniadecki during scientific sessions held at the University of Cracow, then called the Main School of the Kingdom of Poland. Lecture One (1784): On the necessity of higher mathematics in understanding and perfecting physics. Lecture Two (read on 13 May 1785): On applications of mathematical sciences in the advancement of physics.Lecture Three (only an outline): On applying mathematics in physics. In these interesting lectures, Sniadecki pointed to the role of probability and statistics in conducting experiments, as well as the role played by logic where experiments were not necessary and where the results of one series of experiments needed to be verified by another. He mentioned astronomy, hydrodynamics and mechanics as those scientific domains in which mathematical analysis (calculus) was necessary. Sniadecki also stressed the essential role of differential equations in the physical sciences. It has been known from documents in the Archives of Jagiellonian University in Cracow that Sniadecki did lecture on the role of mathematics in physics in the years 1784-1785, but his manuscripts have so far been thought to be lost. In fact, six volumes of hitherto unknown manuscripts by Jan Sniadecki were kept in the years 1842-1986 in Russian, and then Soviet archives. They were returned to Vilnius (Wilno) in the late 1980s, and are now kept at the Historical Archives of Vilnius.
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