Mathematician:Dominique François Jean Arago

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French mathematician, physicist, astronomer and politician.

Worked in the field of optics with Augustin-Jean Fresnel.

First person to construct an electromagnet.

As an active practical astronomer and geographer in troubled political times, once found himself arrested on charges of espionage.




  • Born: 26 February 1786 in Estagel, Roussillon, France
  • 1803: Entered the école Polytechnique, met and befriended Siméon-Denis Poisson
  • 1805: Asked by Poisson to help to complete the measurement the meridian
  • 1806: Set out with Jean-Baptiste Biot for Spain on the meridian measurement task.
  • 1808: Landed on Mallorca, arrested for espionage
  • 1809: After many adventures, returned home
  • 1809: Became assistant professor at École Polytechnique and member of Academy of Sciences
  • 1809: Started work at Paris Observatory, where he stayed for the rest of his career
  • 1811: Married Lucie Carrier-Bescombes
  • 1813 -- 1845: Gave a series of popular lectures on astronomy
  • 1821: With Biot, extended research to the north, in Scotland at Leith, and in the Shetland Islands
  • 1830: Elected as deputy from the Pyrénées-Orientales region
  • 1848: Elected to serve as minister of war and the navy; elected to the Executive Power Commission
  • Died: 2 October 1853 in Paris, France


  • 1835: Inaugurated the Proceedings of the Academy of Sciences

Also known as

Dominique François Jean Arago is usually known by the name François Arago.