Fresnel , Augustin Jean
(1788–1827) French physicist
Fresnel was born in Broglie, France, and grew up in the time of the French Revolution; by the time he was 26, Napoleon had been exiled and Louis XVIII was on the throne. At this time Fresnel was a qualified engineer but, when Napoleon returned from Elba, Fresnel supported the royalists and lost his job as a result.
Fresnel started studying optics in 1814 and was one of the major supporters of the wave theory of light. He worked on interference, at first being unaware of the work of Thomas Young, and produced a number of devices for giving interference effects.Fresnel's biprism is a single prism formed of two identical narrow-angled prisms base-to-base. Placed in front of a single source it splits the beam into two parts, which can produce interference fringes. Initially, Fresnel believed that light was a longitudinal wave motion, but he later decided that it must be transverse to account for the phenomenon of polarization.
Another important part of Fresnel's work was his development of optical systems for lighthouses. He invented the Fresnel lens – a lens with a stepped surface – to replace the heavy metal mirrors that were in use at the time.
Fresnel became a member of the French Academy of Sciences in 1823 and four years later, shortly before he died, the Royal Society awarded him the Rumford medal.

Scientists. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fresnel, Augustin-Jean — • Physicist; b. at Broglie near Bernay, Normandy, 10 May, 1788; d. at Ville d Avray, near Paris, 14 July, 1827 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Fresnel,Augustin Jean — Fres·nel (frā nĕlʹ), Augustin Jean. 1788 1827. French physicist who supported the wave theory of light, investigated polarized light, and developed a compound lens for use in lighthouses. * * * …   Universalium

  • Fresnel, Augustin-Jean — ▪ French physicist born May 10, 1788, Broglie, Fr. died July 14, 1827, Ville d Avray  French physicist who pioneered in optics and did much to establish the wave theory of light advanced by Thomas Young.       Fresnel served as an engineer in… …   Universalium

  • Fresnel, Augustin Jean — ► (1788 1827) Físico francés. Afianzó la teoría ondulatoria de la luz. Mejoró decisivamente la iluminación de los faros mediante la invención de las lentes escalonadas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • FRESNEL, AUGUSTIN JEAN —    French physicist, born at Broglie, Eure; as an engineer he rose to be head of the Department of Public Works at Paris; in 1825 he was elected an F.R.S. of London; he made discoveries in optical science which helped to confirm the undulatory… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Augustin-Jean Fresnel — [ogysˈtɛ̃ ʒɑ̃ fʀɛˈnɛl] (* 10. Mai 1788 in Broglie (Eure); † 14. Juli 1827 in Ville d’Avray bei Paris) war ein französischer …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Augustin Jean Fresnel — [oɡysˈtɛ̃ ʒɑ̃ fʀɛˈnɛl] (* 10. Mai 1788 in Broglie (Eure); † 14. Juli 1827 in Ville d’Avray bei Paris) war ein französischer Physiker und Ingenieur, der wesentlich …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Augustin Jean Fresnel — Augustin Fresnel Pour les articles homonymes, voir Fresnel. Augustin Fresnel Augustin Jean Fresnel, né le 10 mai  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Augustin-Jean Fresnel —     Augustin Jean Fresnel     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Augustin Jean Fresnel     Physicist; b. at Broglie near Bernay, Normandy, 10 May, 1788; d. at Ville d Avray, near Paris, 14 July, 1827. His early progress in letters was slow though he… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Augustin-Jean Fresnel — Infobox Scientist name = Augustin Jean Fresnel box width = image width =150px caption = Augustin Jean Fresnel birth date = Birth date|1788|5|10 birth place = Broglie (Eure) death date = death date and age|1827|7|14|1788|5|10 death place =… …   Wikipedia

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