KING OF SWINGERS

The Life and Science of Leon Foucault: The man who proved the Earth rotates By William Tobin, Cambridge University Press A VERY long pendulum has kept Leon Foucault famous.
But as William Tobin's thorough, readable and beautifully illustrated biography reveals, there was much more to this self-taught French 19th-century experimental physicist.
Foucault (1819-1868) began his adult life as a happy amateur, with science as a Sunday recreation.
After spending 10 years supporting himself as a science journalist, he passed his last 12 years as a government employee at the Paris Observatory.
His acceptance by the Academy of Science was hindered by enmities engendered by the honest bluntness of his newspaper comments.
But the public were entranced by his pendulum.
A 28-kilogram bob was suspended by a 67-metre wire from the dome of the Pantheon in Paris.
The slow rotation of the swing plane proved what had for many years been merely assumed: that the Earth, not the sky, was spinning.
Foucault was also a pioneer photographer.
He worked with Hippolyte Fizeau to measure the velocity of light to one part in 600, designed accurate gyroscopes, and single-handedly-turned the art of polishing large glass telescope mirrors into a science.
His mirror knife-edge test beta me a vital test for telescope optics, and is still a n easy way to correct the shape of small telescope mirrors.
Foucault's bachelor existence was plagued with worry that he had inherited his father's madness, but multiple sclerosis brought about his untimely death.
This unconventional experimenter springs back to life in the pages of this excellent book.
David Hughes is professor of astronomy at the University of Sheffield Named Works:
The Life and Science of Leon Foucault:
The man who proved the Earth rotates (Book) Book reviews Source Citation:
Hughes, David. "King of the swingers:
David Hughes on why Foucault still matters.(Book Review)(Brief Article).
New Scientist 180.2426-2428 (Dec 20, 2003): 82(1). Expanded Academic ASAP.

King of the swingers


Thomson Gale Document Number:A111767847

 

King of the swingers: David Hughes on why Foucault still matters.(Book Review)(Brief Article). David Hughes. 
New Scientist 180.2426-2428 (Dec 20, 2003): p82(1). From Expanded Academic ASAP

 

 

New Scientist

ISSN:

   

0262-4079

Publisher:

   

Reed Business Information Ltd.

Issues/Year:

   

51

Audience:

   

Academic

Format:

   

Magazine/Journal, Refereed

Index coverage:

   

Jan 7, 1988 -

 

 

 

 

 

 










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The Life and Science of Leon Foucault: The man who proved the Earth rotates By William Tobin, Cambridge University Press

 A VERY long pendulum has kept Leon Foucault famous. But as William Tobin's thorough, readable and beautifully illustrated biography reveals, there was much more to this self-taught French 19th-century experimental physicist.

Foucault (1819-1868) began his adult life as a happy amateur, with science as a Sunday recreation. After spending 10 years supporting himself as a science journalist, he passed his last 12 years as a government employee at the Paris Observatory. His acceptance by the Academy of Science was hindered by enmities engendered by the honest bluntness of his newspaper comments.

But the public were entranced by his pendulum. A 28-kilogram bob was suspended by a 67-metre wire from the dome of the Pantheon in Paris. The slow rotation of the swing plane proved what had for many years been merely assumed: that the Earth, not the sky, was spinning.

Foucault was also a pioneer photographer. He worked with Hippolyte Fizeau to measure the velocity of light to one part in 600, designed accurate gyroscopes, and single-handedly-turned the art of polishing large glass telescope mirrors into a science. His mirror knife-edge test beta me a vital test for telescope optics, and is still a n easy way to correct the shape of small telescope mirrors.

Foucault's bachelor existence was plagued with worry that he had inherited his father's madness, but multiple sclerosis brought about his untimely death. This unconventional experimenter springs back to life in the pages of this excellent book.

David Hughes is professor of astronomy at the University of Sheffield


Named Works: The Life and Science of Leon Foucault: The man who proved the Earth rotates (Book) Book reviews

Source Citation: Hughes, David. "King of the swingers: David Hughes on why Foucault still matters.(Book Review)(Brief Article)." New Scientist 180.2426-2428 (Dec 20, 2003): 82(1). Expanded Academic ASAP. Thomson Gale. 
 

 

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