A Short Bright Flash

Designer: Cape Ann Museum Shop

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By Theresa Levitt

Soft cover, 281 pages

© 2013 Theresa Levitt, W.W. Norton Company

This scientific and historical account, rich in anecdote and personality, brings to life the untold story of Augustin Fresnel (1788-1827), a brilliant young man who shocked the scientific elite with a new understanding of the physics of light. The lens he invented made lighthouses blaze many times brighter, farther, and more efficiently than ever before, revolutionizing maritime navigation, saving an untold number of lives, and playing a vital role in geopolitical events including the American Civil War.