‘Jean Bernard Léon Foucault (French pronunciation: [’Q b[na leT fuko]) (18 September 1819 – 11 February 1868) was a French physicist best known for the invention of the Foucault pendulum, a device demonstrating the effect of the Earth’s rotation. He also made an early measurement of the speed of light, discovered eddy currents, and although he didn’t invent it, is credited with naming the gyroscope. The Foucault crater on the Moon is named after him.’
– Jean was born Jean Bernard Léon Foucault on 18 September 1819 in Paris, France. He was the son of a publisher and was mainly homeschooled. He studied medicine but turned to physics because of his fear of blood.
– In 1850, along with fellow scientist Hippolyte Fizeau, Foucault created an apparatus that measured the speed of light using angles and mirrors.
– In 1851, he proved that the Earth rotates on its axis with a heavy pendulum suspended in the Panthéon in Paris, which was subsequently named ‘Foucault’s Pendulum’.
– In 1855, he discovered ‘eddy currents’ (‘a circulating flow of electrons, sometimes caused within a conductor when it is exposed to a changing magnetic field’), and in 1857, he created the Foucault polarizer and developed a method of testing reflecting telescope mirrors.
– On 11 February 1868, Jean Foucault died in Paris. The Foucault crater on the moon is named after him, and he is also credited with naming the gyroscope.