Talk:Augustin-Jean Fresnel

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Hi there,

the name of this man is written without a dash (no dash in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, not in several german books, not in the french wikipedia ...) -- Schusch 20:47, 20 Apr 2004 (UTC)

I don't think there's any consistency in whether compound first names like this (formerly very common in French) are written with a dash or not. In general even French sources sometimes write them with, sometimes without. -- Curps 15:39, 23 Jul 2004 (UTC)

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Done. Thincat 15:37, 20 October 2005 (UTC)


I'm not natively French but I'm pretty sure that I've heard french and most other people (apart from Americans) pronounce his surname as /freˈnɛl/ i.e. freh-nell. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:06, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Not only have I only ever heard the lens name pronounced as "freh-nel", but the IPA symbol /ɛ/ used for his name is consistent with this, and not consistent with "ay" (which would be /e/). I think this is just a minor error in the eye-dialect representation, and I'll change it if I don't see arguments otherwise within a day or so here. Sharkford (talk) 14:32, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Major expansion?[edit]

Please warn me here if you are working on a major expansion or rewrite of this article, so that we don't tread on each other's toes.

(I submit that this article is short by comparison with other "level-4 vital" articles on physicists, including the featured articles on Chadwick, Fermi, Feynman, Gibbs, Kepler, Oppenheimer, and Teller.)

2001:44B8:4186:4000:30F0:C7A6:72AD:AC7E (talk) 04:02, 26 July 2017 (UTC)

I added a section on Fresnel's bright spot with citations. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 15:48, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
Thanks. I confirm that the "major expansion" is still in progress. And I do mean "major".
2001:44B8:4108:D305:5DEB:33D8:F60E:2E47 (talk) 14:22, 26 September 2017 (UTC).
You should expect the proposed "major expansion" to be uploaded by Christmas.
2001:44B8:4108:D300:98F3:C39A:88B3:304A (talk) 01:13, 25 November 2017 (UTC).


The career section says "He received only scant public recognition during his lifetime for his labours in the cause of optical science" but the detail section says that " in 1819 he received the prize of the Académie des Sciences at Paris, in 1823 he was unanimously elected a member of the French Academy of Science, in 1825 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and in 1827 the Royal Society of London awarded him the Rumford Medal. Even in the quotation given, he talks about "All the compliments that I have received from Arago, Laplace and Biot...". I don't see support for the claim of "scant public recognition", so I am deleting this sentence. Geoffrey.landis (talk) 15:48, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Major expansion — Phase 1[edit]

Since proposing the "major expansion", I have opened an eponymous account, which I shall use from now on.

"Phase 1" of the expansion has been uploaded. I envisage that subsequent "phases" will involve further checking against sources, with little change in length but (presumably) improvements in clarity and accuracy. The diagram of the Fresnel rhomb also needs work: see its caption and talk page.

I would have liked to do more of that "checking against sources" before uploading; but I am about to be interrupted (again), and I was not willing to delay the upload for the duration.

Warning: There are inconsistencies between secondary sources (see the notes). To correct any factual error or omission, you need more than a single secondary source.

Disclosure: I don't know French. Wherever I have been forced to consult French sources, I have also been forced to use online translators.

Quirks of the author: This article generally uses American spellings and punctuation, but avoids two extreme Americanisms, namely (i) "meter" for a unit of measure, and (ii) placing a stop before a closing quotation mark when the actual quote ends with a weaker stop or no stop.

Many thanks to the many past contributors of illustrations. I wrote all of the text but did not upload a single image.

Gavin R Putland (talk) 12:14, 10 December 2017 (UTC), Melbourne, Australia.

Major expansion — completed?[edit]

My edit of 09:13, 23 December 2017, may incidentally be taken as the end of "Phase 2" (checking against Grattan-Guinness, 1990). Subsequent "phases" were indicated on the article's history page. I eventually uploaded one image of my own, namely the corrected diagram of the Fresnel rhomb (compare the original).

Having finished "Phase 8", I do not envisage making further changes except to fix bugs.

Gavin R Putland (talk) 11:25, 20 January 2018 (UTC).


What a nicely done article. So complete and informative. Congrats to all who worked on it.