(b. Paris, France, ca. 1618; d. Paris, ca. 1660)
Mylon’s place in the history of science derives from the service he provided in facilitating communication among more learned men in the decade from 1650 to 1660. He was the third son of Benoist Mylon, counselor to Louis XIII and Controller-General of Finance; he himself was admitted to the bar as an advocate before Parlement in 1641, even though he lacked two years of being twenty-five, the legal age of majority.
As early as 1645 Mylon had become concerned with mathematics, making written notes of new Cartesian mathematical problems. He was also in contact with Mersenne, Debeaune, and Roberval, and when Schooten passed through Paris he was able to transmit a considerable amount of new information to him. Mylon also served as secretary to the “Académie Parisienne,”a continuation of the Mersenne group, under the direction of F. le Pailleur, which in 1654 received Pascal’s famous “Adresse.” Mylon achieved a certain importance when the death of Pailleur, in November 1654, left the papers of the society at his disposal; it was thus he who told Schooten (who told Huygens) of Fermat’s and Pascal’s problems and solutions concerning games of chance. He also forwarded to Holland Fermat’s and Frenicle’s problems in number theory. In 1655 Huygens, who was making his first trip to France, visited Mylon; the following year he suggested the “commerce scientifique”that provides the chief documentation of Mylon’s career.
Mylon maintained a number of rather delicate relationships with other mathematicians. He had access to Pascal in his retirement (although to a lesser degree than did Carcavi), and while his affection for Conrart threatened his friendship with Roberval, the latter continued to make use of him as an intermediary. He was less happy in his two attempts at personal achievement: in 1658 he hazarded his own solution to the quadrature of the cubic curves known as the “perles de M. Sluse”and in January 1659, in the wake of the debate provoked by Pascal, he proposed to prove Wren’s solution of the length of the cycloid. These efforts stand as a monument to his inadequacies as a mathematician, and it is with them that all mention of Mylon by Huygens stops. No publication by him is known.
On Mylon and his work, see J.-B. du Hamel, Astronomia physica, … Accessere P. Petiti observationes…. (Paris, 1660), 12, which includes an account of Pierre Petit’s pamphlet on the observation made by Mylon and Roberval of the solar eclipse of 8 Apr. 1652.
See also C. Adam and P. Tannery, eds., Oeuvres de Descartes, IV (Paris, 1901), 232, 397, which deals with the problem of the “trois batons”and Roberval’s “Aristarchus."
See L. Brunschvicg, P. Boutroux, and F. Gazier, eds., Oeuvres de Blaise Pascal, IX (Paris, 1914), 151–156; the letter referred to here (Mylon to Pascal, 27 Dec. 1658) is at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, Res. V 859, with a demonstration by Mylon of “the equality of the cycloid and its partner."
There are numerous references to Mylon in Huygens’correspondence, as well as letters from him, in Oeuvres complétes de Christiaan Huygens, 22 vols. (The Hague, 1888–1950); see esp. I, 517, for Roberval’s demonstration on the surface of spherical triangles; II, 8–25, for Frenicle’s results on compatible numbers; “Propositio Domini Wren Angli. Demonstrata a Claudio Mylon die 26 Januarii 1659,”II, 335; and “La quadrature des perles de M. Sluse par Claude Mylon. En juin 1658,”II, 337. Mylon’s role in the problem of games of chance is discussed in “Avertisse- ment,”XIV, 4–9. See also The Correspondence of H. Oldenburg, I (London, 1965), 225.
"Mylon, Claude." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 15, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mylon-claude
"Mylon, Claude." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Retrieved December 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/mylon-claude
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.