But the Cartesian theory, like the later speculations of Kant and Laplace, proposes to give a hypothetical explanation of the circumstances and motions which in the normal course of things led to the state of things required by the law of attraction.
In preparation for these he spent the winter of 1877-1878 in reading up original treatises like those of Laplace and Lagrange on mathematics and mechanics, and in attending courses on practical physics under P. G.
The application of this to telegraphic purposes was suggested by Laplace and taken up by Ampere, and afterwards by Triboaillet and by Schilling, whose work forms the foundation of much of modern telegraphy.
In his Naturgeschichte des Himmels, in which he anticipated the nebular theory afterwards more fully developed by Laplace, Kant sought to explain the genesis of the cosmos as a product of physical forces and laws.
Laplace supposed the existence of a primeval nebula which extended so far out as to fill all the space at present occupied by the planets.