The Life and Science of Léon Foucault: The Man who Proved the Earth Rotates

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Cambridge University Press, 30 oct. 2003 - 338 pages
Léon Foucault's name is synonymous with his famous pendulum experiment, which proved for the first time that the Earth rotated. However, his contributions to science went well beyond his pendulum - the gyroscope; laboratory measurements of the speed of light; the invention of methods to make perfect optical surfaces. Foucault provides a fascinating case study of one of the last great amateur scientists. This abundantly-illustrated biography will prove to be a fascinating read for anyone interested in Foucault as a pioneer of science.

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À propos de l'auteur (2003)

William Tobin, M.A., Ph.D., F.R.A.S., was born in Manchester, England, in 1953 and attended Stockport Grammar School. He read Natural Sciences at Cambridge (Emmanuel College) and took his doctorate in astronomy at the University of Wisconsin at Madison (USA). Since then he has worked at the University of St Andrews, the Laboratoire d'Astronomie Spatiale in Marseilles, the Marseilles Observatory (where Foucault's largest telescope is preserved and his interest in Foucault was sparked) and the Université de Provence. Since 1987 he has been at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, where he has been Director of the Mount John University Observatory and is currently a part-time Senior Lecturer in Astronomy, splitting his time between New Zealand and France. He has spent sabbatical leave at the Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris. Research interests besides Foucault centre on eclipsing binary stars in the Magellanic Clouds and the comet-like objects surrounding the deep southern star Beta Pictoris. His astrophysical research has mostly been published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society and the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics. He is a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a member of the International Astronomical Union. Among his distinctions are the New Zealand Institute of Physics Journalism Award (1993), the Arthur Beer Memorial Prize for the best article in the journal Vistas in Astronomy (1994), and the Mechaelis Memorial Prize administered by the University of Otago for contributions to astronomy (1997).

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