In A Short Bright Flash: Augustin Fresnel
and the Birth of the Modern Lighthouse, Theresa Levitt wastes little time in revealing just how bad things were for sailors in the 19th century.
She uses the archives and the Stevenson Records to put in context the long-running controversies between the Stevensons and the Rennies and also the argument with David Brewster, who claimed that he invented the dioptric lens before Augustin Fresnel
Frenchman Augustin Fresnel
invented a system in 1822, pictured, which revolutionised lighthouses - it allowed a light of equal intensity to be cast equally around the horizon.
Particularly stinging was the replacement of the Newtonian theory of light with the wave theory championed by French physicist Augustin Fresnel
In the 1800s, Augustin Fresnel
, a French scientist, designed a series of lenses and prisms that focused light into a single powerful beam.
The early 19th century French physicist Augustin Fresnel
(pronounced "Freh-Nel") made an important observation about the behavior of light.