Pierre-Simon, marquis de Laplace (23 March 1749 - 5 March 1827) was an influential French scholar whose work was important to the development of mathematics, statistics, physics and astronomy. He summarized and extended the work of his predecessors in his five-volume Mecanique Celeste (Celestial Mechanics) (1799-1825). This work translated the geometric study of classical mechanics to one based on calculus, opening up a broader range of problems. In statistics, the Bayesian interpretation of probability was developed mainly by Laplace. Laplace formulated Laplace's equation, and pioneered the Laplace transform which appears in many branches of mathematical physics, a field that he took a leading role in forming. The Laplacian differential operator, widely used in mathematics, is also named after him. He restated and developed the nebular hypothesis of the origin of the Solar System and was one of the first scientists to postulate the existence of black holes and the notion of gravitational collapse. Laplace is remembered as one of the greatest scientists of all time. Sometimes referred to as the French Newton or Newton of France, he has been described as possessing a phenomenal natural mathematical faculty superior to that of any of his contemporaries.
Sir Robert Stawell Ball FRS (July 1, 1840 - November 25, 1913) was an Irish astronomer who founded the screw theory. He was the son of naturalist Robert Ball and Amelia Gresley Hellicar. He was born in Dublin. Ball worked for Lord Rosse from 1865 to 1867. In 1867 he became Professor of Applied Mathematics at the Royal College of Science in Dublin. There he lectured on mechanics and published an elementary account of the science. In 1874 Ball was appointed Royal Astronomer of Ireland and Andrews Professor of Astronomy in the University of Dublin at Dunsink Observatory. In 1908 he published A Treatise on Spherical Astronomy, which is a textbook on astronomy starting from spherical trigonometry and the celestial sphere, considering atmospheric refraction and aberration of light, and introducing basic use of a generalised instrument.