Augustin Jean Fresnel, French physicist

Augustin Jean Fresnel, French physicist

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Caption: Augustin Jean Fresnel (1788-1827), French physicist. Fresnel qualified as an engineer, but was temporarily removed from his government post in 1815 for supporting the Royalists against Napoleon. During this time he conducted experiments into light. He researched interference and polarisation effects, showing that light must be in the form of transverse waves, as Young & Huygens had suggested, rather than longitudinal waves, like sound. Fresnel also applied his skills to the development of lenses for lighthouses.

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