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Joseph Fourier
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    (March 21, 1768-May 16, 1830)
    Born in Auxerre, France
    Birth name was Jean-Baptiste Joseph Fourier
    Mathematician and physicist
    Scientific adviser for Napoleon Bonaparte's Egyptian campaign (1798-1802)
    Prefect of the Department of Isere (1802-15)
    Wrote 'An Analytic Theory of Heat' (1822)
    Developed partial differential equations to describe the flow of heat in a homogeneous fluid
    Namesake for the Fourier series, Fourier transform, Fourier analysis, and Fourier's law of conduction
    He complained, 'Yesterday was my 21st birthday. At that age, Newton and Pascal had already acquired many claims to immortality.'
    He delivered an oration at Orleans that got him arrested by Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety for being a moderate (1794), then a year later by the National Convention for being a radical.
    King Louis XVIII vetoed his first election to the Academy of Science because of his service in Napoleon's government (1816).
    A bronze statue erected in his honor in hometown was melted down to use the metal for ammunition during World War II.
    He was orphaned at age ten and raised by an aunt and uncle.
    He was released from his first arrest when the execution of Robespierre ended the Reign of Terror, and from his second when an amnesty was issued upon the Directory taking power.
    He effectively served as the civilian governor of Egypt after Napoleon returned to France (1800).
    He calculated that an object the size of the Earth at its distance from the Sun should be significantly colder than its actual temperature if it was warmed only by incoming solar radiation. He suggested that Earth's atmosphere acted as an insulator, making him the first scientist to identify the greenhouse effect (1824).

Credit: C. Fishel

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