Picard, Jean

(1620-1682)
   astronomer, geodesist Born in La Flèche, abbot Jean Picard, a scientist, invented, with A. Auzout, the micrometer, which measured the apparent dimensions of celestial bodies and was a great aid in the development of astronomical telescopes. Thanks to this invention, Picard could measure with great precision the arc of the meridian between Paris and Amiens and from it deduce a good estimation of the terrestrial ray, which in turn allowed Isaac Newton to put in place definitively his theory of universal gravitation. Picard was also able to make an estimation of the speed of the movement of sound. Additionally, he worked toward producing a map of France. He was named to the Academy of Sciences in 1666.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

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  • Picard,Jean — Pi·card (pē kärʹ), Jean. 1620 1682. French cleric and astronomer who made an accurate measurement of a degree of meridian and subsequently calculated the circumference of the earth (1668 1670). * * * …   Universalium

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