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Erasmus Bartholinus

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Erasmus Bartholinus

Rasmus Bartholin
Rasmus Bartholin
Born 13 August 1625
Died 4 November 1698 (aged 73)
Nationality Danish
Fields Physics
Known for double refraction of a light ray
Rasmus Bartholin (Latinized Erasmus Bartholinus; 13 August 1625, Roskilde – 4 November 1698, Copenhagen) was a Danish scientist and physician. As part of his studies, he travelled in Europe for ten years. Professor at the University of Copenhagen, first in Geometry, later in Medicine. He was a younger brother of Thomas Bartholin.

Rasmus Bartholin is remembered especially for his discovery (1669) of the double refraction of a light ray by Iceland spar (calcite).[1] He published an accurate description of the phenomenon, but since the physical nature of light was poorly understood at the time, he was unable to explain it. It was only after Thomas Young proposed the wave theory of light, c. 1801 that an explanation became possible.


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