A Short Bright Flash: Augustina Fresnel and the Birth of the Modern Lighthouse

Hardcover, ISBN: 9780393068795
WWN287

$25.95

How a scientific outsider came up with a revolutionary theory of light and saved untold numbers of lives. . Augustin Fresnel (1788–1827) shocked the scientific elite with his view of the physics of light. The lens he invented was a feat of engineering that made lighthouses blaze many...
+

Specifications

Format:
Hardcover
Author:
Theresa Levitt
ISBN:
ISBN: 9780393068795
Supplier/Publisher:
WW Norton
Published Date:
2013

How a scientific outsider came up with a revolutionary theory of light and saved untold numbers of lives. . Augustin Fresnel (1788–1827) shocked the scientific elite with his view of the physics of light. The lens he invented was a feat of engineering that made lighthouses blaze many times brighter, farther, and more efficiently than they had before. As secretary of France's Lighthouse Commission, he planned and oversaw the lighting of the nation's coast. Although Fresnel died young, his brother Léonor presided over the spread of the new technology around the globe. The new lights were of strategic importance in navigation, and the Fresnel legacy played an important role in geopolitical events including the American Civil War. No sooner were Fresnel lenses installed along U. S. shores (despite stubborn opposition) than they became military targets: the Union blockaded the Confederate coast, and the Confederacy set about thwarting the blockade by dismantling and hiding or destroying the powerful new lights. Levitt's scientific and historical account, rich in anecdote and personality, is a compelling read. 60 illustrations, 6 maps

Shipping Details

This product is listed in the following categories