Francesco Maria Grimaldi
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Francesco Maria Grimaldi
Francesco Maria Grimaldi
Francesco Maria Grimaldi.jpg
Born(1618-04-02)2 April 1618
Died28 August 1663(1663-08-28) (aged 45)
NationalityItalian
Other names
  • Francisco Maria Grimaldo
  • Franciscus Grimaldi
Known forfree fall, diffraction
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics, Physics

Francesco Maria Grimaldi (2 April 1618 - 28 December 1663) was an Italian Jesuit priest, mathematician and physicist who taught at the Jesuit college in Bologna. He was born in Bologna to Paride Grimaldi and Anna Cattani.[1]

Work

Between 1640 and 1650, working with Riccioli, he investigated the free fall of objects, confirming that the distance of fall was proportional to the square of the time taken. Grimaldi and Riccioli also made a calculation of gravity at the earth's surface by recording the oscillations of an accurate pendulum.[2]

In astronomy, he built and used instruments to measure lunar mountains as well as the height of clouds, and drew an accurate map or, selenograph, which was published by Riccioli and now adorns the entrance to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

He was the first to make accurate observations on the diffraction of light[3][4] (although by some accounts Leonardo da Vinci had earlier noted it[5]), and coined the word 'diffraction'. Through experimentation he was able to demonstrate that the observed passage of light could not be reconciled with the idea that it moved in a rectilinear path. Rather, the light that passed through the hole took on the shape of a cone. Later physicists used his work as evidence that light was a wave, significantly, Dutch mathematician Christiaan Huygens. He also discovered what are known as diffraction bands.[6]

The crater Grimaldi on the Moon is named after him.

Publications

  • Physico-mathesis de lumine, coloribus et iride aliisque adnexis (in Latin). Girolamo Bernia: Johann Zieger. 1665.

See also

References

  1. ^ Hockey, Thomas (2009). The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer Publishing. ISBN 978-0-387-31022-0. Archived from the original on 2013-02-03. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ J.L. Heilbron, Electricity in the 17th and 18th Centuries: A Study of Early Modern Physics (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979), 180.
  3. ^ Francesco Maria Grimaldi, Physico mathesis de lumine, coloribus, et iride, aliisque annexis libri duo (Bologna ("Bonomia"), Italy: Vittorio Bonati, 1665), pp. 1-11 (in Latin).
  4. ^ Florian Cajori (1899). A history of physics in its elementary branches: including the evolution of physical laboratories. The Macmillan Company. pp. 88-. Retrieved 2011.
  5. ^ Guglielmo Libri, Histoire des sciences mathematiques en Italie Archived 2006-11-28 at the Wayback Machine (1840)
  6. ^ Thomas E. Woods (2005). How the Catholic Church built Western civilization. Regnery Publishing. pp. 105-. ISBN 978-0-89526-038-3. Retrieved 2011.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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