Pierre Simon Laplace was born in Normandy, France in 1749, and was educated at the military school in Beaumont.

Laplace's greatest scientific contribution was the application of Newton's universal law of gravitation to the motion of the planets. He also developed an early cosmological theory of the origin of the solar system. Laplace wrote Triaté de Céleste Mécanique (Treatise on Celestial Mechanics), published in five volumes from 1799 to 1825, and Exposition de Systéme de Monde (Explanation of the World System) in 1796.