Medical Dictionary

law of Laplace

noun law of La·place \-lä-ˈpläs\

Medical Definition of law of Laplace

  1. :  a law in physics that in medicine is applied in the physiology of blood flow: under equilibrium conditions the pressure tangent to the circumference of a vessel storing or transmitting fluid equals the product of the pressure across the wall and the radius of the vessel for a sphere and half this for a tube—called also Laplace's law

Biographical Note for law of laplace




(1749–1827), French astronomer and mathematician. Laplace has often been called the Newton of France. He successfully applied the Newtonian theory of gravitation to the solar system by accounting for all of the observed deviations of the planets from their theoretical orbits. By 1786 he was able to prove that the eccentricities and inclinations of planetary orbits to each other will always remain small, constant, and self-correcting. He also investigated tides, specific heats, capillary action, electricity, and the equilibrium of a rotating fluid mass. By demonstrating that the attractive force of a mass upon a particle (regardless of direction) could be obtained directly by differentiating a single function, he established the mathematical basis for the scientific study of heat, magnetism, and electricity.

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