David Brewster, Scottish physicist

David Brewster, Scottish physicist

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: David Brewster (1781-1868). 1874 illustration of the Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster. Largely self-taught in physics, Brewster made many contributions to optics, especially relating to polarisation. He discovered the angle at which an incident beam of polarised light is perfectly transmitted through a surface with no reflection, known as Brewster's Angle. Brewster was a prolific writer, contributing to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and was instrumental in the establishment of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.

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