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Leon Foucault (1819 – 1868)


French physicist best known for the invention of the Foucault pendulum, a device demonstrating the effect of the Earth's rotation.
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Leon Foucault
To contribute usefully to the advance of science, one must sometimes not disdain from undertaking simple verifications.
Foucault quotes
The phenomenon develops calmly, but it is invisible, unstoppable. One feels, one sees it born and grow steadily; and it is not in one's power to either hasten it or slow it down. Any person, brought into the presence of this fact, stops for a few moments and remains pensive and silent; and then generally leaves, carrying with him forever a sharper, keener sense of our incessant motion through space.
Foucault
Above all, we must be accurate, and it is an obligation which we intend to fulfil scrupulously.




Foucault Leon quotes
At the age of 25, not having learnt anything at school nor from book, enthusiastic about science but not about study, Léon Foucault took on the task of making the work of scientists understandable to the public and of passing judgement on the value to the work of leading men of science. From the start he showed great subtlety, good judgement based on more prudence than would be expected. His first articles were remarkable; they were spiritual. He took his duties seriously. Launched, without any experience, into the highest level of science with all its confusion and problems, he was assured carrying out a role in which mediocrity would mean failure, with complete success.
... Always polite, yet seeking the truth, Foucault applied carefully considered judgements. Previously an unknown, this young man with no scientific publications nor known scientific discoveries, displayed a quiet authority and frankness which irritated many leading scientists.
Foucault Leon
You are invited to come to see the Earth turn, tomorrow, from three to five, at Meridian Hall of the Paris Observatory.
Leon Foucault quotes
May those men who are animated by the true scientific spirit cease to believe that they are obliged to consider only subjects of public utility; ...because, one must not hide it, the field of applications, so rich and fertile today, would not take long to be blighted by sterility if it ceased to be fertilized and revivified by the beneficial light which theoretical research radiates and pours incessantly upon it.
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