Foucault, Léon

BORN 18 Sep 1819, Paris - DIED 12 Feb 1868, Paris
BIRTH NAME Foucault, Jean Bernard Léon
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Cimetière de Montmartre, 20 Avenue Rachel (division 07)

Jean Foucault became well known for his Foucault pendulum that showed the effect of the rotation of the earth. He was the son of a publisher and studied first medicine and then physics. For three years he was the assistant of Alfred Donné. Together with Hippolyte Fizeau he researched the light of the sun. In 1850 he measured the speed of light with an experiment known as the Foucault-Fizeau experiment.

His famous experimental demonstration of the earth rotating on its axis was conducted in 1851. Vincenco Viviani had conducted a similar experiment in 1661. In 1857 Foucault invented a polarizer that was named after him. In 1862 he received the Legion of Honour and in 1864 he became a member of the Royal Society of London.


The grave of Léon Foucault at the Montmartre Cemetery, Paris.
Picture by Androom (08 Mar 1995)


Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Léon Foucault - Wikipedia

Fould, Achille

Published: 23 Oct 2015
Last update: 25 Apr 2022