Mathematician and philosopher best remembered for his formulation of an equation describing water, sound, and light waves. He is also notable for his work in the field of music theory.
After attending the College Mazarin, he made early-career contributions to the studies of fluid mechanics and mathematics.
His most known scholarly work, Traite de Dynamique, was published in 1743.
The illegitimate son of author Claudine Guerin de Tencin and French Royal Army officer Louis-Camus Destouches, he spent his early days in an orphanage. He was later adopted by Madame Rousseau.
He and Enlightenment philosopher Denis Diderot co-edited the important 1759 French Encyclopédie.