Bust of Claude Louis Marie Henri Navier at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées
10 February 1785|
|Died||21 August 1836
|Institutions||École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées
French Academy of Science
|Alma mater||École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées|
|Academic advisors||Joseph Fourier|
|Known for||Navier–Stokes equations|
After the death of his father in 1793, Navier's mother left his education in the hands of his uncle Émiland Gauthey, an engineer with the Corps of Bridges and Roads (Corps des Ponts et Chaussées). In 1802, Navier enrolled at the École polytechnique, and in 1804 continued his studies at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, from which he graduated in 1806. He eventually succeeded his uncle as Inspecteur general at the Corps des Ponts et Chaussées.
In 1824, Navier was admitted into the French Academy of Science. In 1830, he took up a professorship at the École Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées, and in the following year succeeded exiled Augustin Louis Cauchy as professor of calculus and mechanics at the École polytechnique.
Navier formulated the general theory of elasticity in a mathematically usable form (1821), making it available to the field of construction with sufficient accuracy for the first time. In 1819 he succeeded in determining the zero line of mechanical stress, finally correcting Galileo Galilei's incorrect results, and in 1826 he established the elastic modulus as a property of materials independent of the second moment of area. Navier is therefore often considered to be the founder of modern structural analysis.
His name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower.
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "Claude-Louis Navier", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews.