Francois Arago, French astronomer, physicist and statesman, early 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving from 'Les Nouvelles Conquetes de la Science'. Dominique Francois Jean Arago (1786-1853) made discoveries in the fields of astronomy, magnetism and optics, becoming the director of the Paris Observatory. Collaborating with Augustin Fresnel (1788-1827) he made early discoveries on the corpuscular theory of light in 1811. The inscription on this engraving describes Arago as a member of the Royal Society, London and L'Academie Royale des Sciences, Paris. Known for his republican political views, he entered French politics in 1830 and became a member of the provisional government formed after the Revolution of 1848.