Etienne Malus, French physicist

Etienne Malus, French physicist

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Caption: Etienne Malus. Portrait of the French physicist Etienne Louis Malus (1775-1812). Malus was a military engineer in Napoleon's army from 1796 to 1801. After this commission he carried out research into optics. He is most famous for his discovery that light becomes plane polarized when reflected. Normally light vibrates in all directions at right angles to the direction of travel. However, plane polarized light only vibrates in a single direction.

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