Jean-Baptiste Biot, French Polymath

Jean-Baptiste Biot, French Polymath

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Caption: Jean-Baptiste Biot (1774-1862) was a French physicist, astronomer, and mathematician who established the reality of meteorites, made an early balloon flight, and studied the polarization of light. Biot made many contributions to the scientific community, most notably in optics, magnetism, and astronomy. In physics, particularly electromagnetism, the Biot-Savart law is an equation that describes the magnetic field generated by an electric current. Biot also helped further the field of optics in 1815 with a study in polarized light. In his experiment Biot studied the effects of polarized light as it penetrated organic substances and determined that light could be rotated clockwise or counter clockwise, dependent upon the optical axis of the material . He lived to be 87 and died of natural causes.

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