See also:born at Brussels on the 14th of
See also:October 18o1, and died on the 15th of
See also:September 1883 at
See also:Ghent, where he had been
See also:professor of physics from 1835 . He was a
See also:pupil and friend of L . A . J . Quetelet, who had much influence on the early
See also:part of his career . The more
See also:original investigations of
See also:Plateau refer chiefly to portions of one or other of two branches of science—physiological
See also:optics and molecular forces . We owe to him the " stroboscopic " method of studying the motion of a vibrating
See also:body, by looking at it through equidistant radial slits in a revolving disk . In 1829 he imprudently gazed at the midday
See also:sun for 20 seconds, with the view of studying the after effects . The result was
See also:blindness for some days, succeeded by a temporary recovery; but for the next fourteen years his sight gradually deteriorated, and in 1843 he became permanently
See also:blind . This calamity did not interrupt his scientific activity . Aided by his wife and son, and afterwards by his son-in-
See also:law G . L.
See also:van der Mensbrugghe, he continued to the end of his
See also:life his researches on vision—directing the course of the experiments which they made for him, and interpreting the bearing of the results .
He also published a valuable
See also:catalogue of all the more important
See also:memoirs which had been written, from the earliest times to the end of the 18th century, on his favourite theme of subjective visual phenomena . But even more extra-ordinary were this blind man's investigations about molecular forces, embracing hundreds of novel experiments whose results he saw only with others' eyes . These
See also:form the subject of his
See also:work Statique experimentale et theorique
See also:des liquides soumis aux seules forces moleculaires (2 vols., 1873), a valuable contribution to our knowledge of capillary phenomena . His son, Felix Auguste
See also:Joseph Plateau (b . 1841), became professor of zoology and
See also:comparative anatomy at Ghent in 187o .
PLATEAU (a French term, older platel, for a flat pi...
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