1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Borda, Jean Charles

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4767841911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 4 — Borda, Jean Charles

BORDA, JEAN CHARLES (1733–1799), French mathematician and nautical astronomer, was born at Dax on the 4th of May 1733. He studied at La Flèche, and at an early age obtained a commission in the cavalry. In 1756 he presented a Mémoire sur le mouvement des projectiles to the Academy of Sciences, who elected him a member. He was present at the battle of Hastembeck, and soon afterwards joined the naval service. He visited the Azores and the Canary Islands, of which he constructed an admirable map. In 1782 his frigate was taken by a British squadron; he himself was carried to England, but was almost immediately released on parole and returned to France. He died at Paris on the 20th of February 1799. Borda contributed a long series of valuable memoirs to the Academy of Sciences. His researches in hydrodynamics were highly useful for marine engineering, while the reflecting and repeating circles, as improved by him, were of great service in nautical astronomy. He was associated with J. B. J. Delambre and P. F. A. Méchain in the attempt to determine an arc of the meridian, and the greater number of the instruments employed in the task were invented by him.

See J. B. Biot, “Notice sur Borda” in the Mém. de l’Acad. des Sciences, iv.