Foucalt Jean Bernard Leon Foucault Jean Bernard Leon Foucault was a very instrumental scientist in history. Born on the 18th. of September 1819, in Paris. Foucault was born into a fairly wealthy family. As he grew up his father urged him to pursue a career in medicine.

Foucault agreed, and began his medical studies. He soon became bored, and then turned his attention to studying physics. In 1845 he became the scientific editor of The Journal des Debats. His experiments began in the same period. In 1855 he became the physicist at the local observatory. Foucault, like many of the great thinkers of his time, was a specialist in multiple fields.

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Foucault was very interested in science dealing with mirrors. He personally invented the gyroscope. He pioneered a better method to silver astronomical mirrors. He also developed the Foucault knife experiment to test whetted mirrors. He was interested in the mechanics of light as well.

He invented a prism to change polarized light and a better method to measure the speed of light. He even studied a little in the field of electricity. He discovered the phenomenon we know as the Foucault currents. Perhaps his most well known area of study was the Earths rotation. When most scientists speak of Jean Bernard Foucault, they talk about his most famous experiment. The Foucault Pendulum was the masterpiece of Foucaults scientific career.

At the start Foucault wanted to prove that the plane of a swing of a pendulum appears to rotate or precess. The secret of the pendulum is it is the earth moving, not the pendulum. The pendulums swing advances to the right due to the Coriolis effect. This is the same phenomenon that causes the winds to form and the turning of water going down a drain. The earths gravity and a magnet keep the pendulum from slowing down. The earths gravity pulls the pendulum down toward the bottom of its swing arc. Then Foucault used the equation r/R days to find the exact rotation of the earth.

Jean Bernard Leon Foucault is probably not the first scientist you think of when you think of great impacts on society. However, his pendulum experiment did change the way we view our earth. That is not also counting his numerous other experiments. From his experiments in light to his studies of mirrors and electricity his work is evident in everything we see and know about our world. Bibliography BIBLIOGRAPHY books 1) Herniel, John W. Encyclopedia Americana.

Connecticut: Grolier Incorporated, 1993. web sites 1) http://www. 9/16/99, The Foucault Pendulum 2) 9/16/99, Jean Bernard Leon Foucault Science Essays.


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