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Catholic Laymen

         -In History and Science 

Copyright 1994

The following list is just a small sample of the Catholic scientists who contributed their God-given talents to the world. The lives of these individuals could be further researched for a
book report, used as a reference when studying a particular area in science, or even added to a historical timeline! The names are presented in alphabetical order, not the order of time.

Ampere, Andre Marie (1775-1836) France. Founder of the science of electrodynamics. He was the first man to develop measuring techniques for electricity, and he built the first free-moving needle to measure the flow of electricity (later called the galvanometer).


Becquerel, Antoine Cesar (1788-1878) France. Physicist, research and discoveries in the areas of electricity, magnetism and electrochemistry.


Becquerel, Antoine Henri (1852-1908) France. Physicist,. Important research in spectrum analysis, phosphorescence, and the absorption of light.


Braille, Louis (1809-1852) France. Blind from the age of three. Founder of the Institute for the Blind in Paris, developed the very successful tactile point writing method for the blind, called the Braille System.


Caesalpino, Andrea (1519-1603) Italy. Physician to Pope Clement VIII. He was the author of the system of botanical classification.


Carrell, Alexis (1873-1944) France. Surgeon and biologist. Worked in the United States from 1905-1939 developing techniques for grafting, suturing blood vessels; improved safety of blood transfusions.


Copernicus, Nicolaus (1473-1543) Poland. Studied mathematics and science, astronomy and canon law in Italy.


Coulomb, Charles Augustin de (1736-1806) France. Coulomb was a Catholic physicist who developed Coulomb's Law, which states that the force between two electrical charges is proportional to the product of the charges and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.


Descartes, Rene (1596-1650) France. Philosopher and mathematician. Catholicism exerted a strong influence throughout his life, but his own philosophy was a novelty and therefore flawed. He was attracted to the problems of philosophy and mathematics, studying optics, geometry, and astronomy.


Endlicher, Stephen Ladislaud (1804-1849) Hungary. Philosopher and botanist. Instrumental in the establishment of the Vienna Academy of Sciences.


Eustachius, Bartolommeo (1525?- 1587) Italy. Anatomist. Conducted research in the evolution and development of the teeth, kidney structures, cranial nerves and muscles of the head and neck.


Fabricius, Girlamo Fabrizio (1537-1619) Italy. Anatomist pioneering in the study of the effects of valves and ligatures of veins.


Fizeau, Armand Hippolyte Louis (1819-1896) France. Physicist. He made the first accurate determination of the speed of light.


Foucalt, Jean Bernard Leon (1819-1868) France. Physicist trained in medicine, but devoted much of his life to physics.


Fraunhofer, Joseph Von (1787-1826) Germany. Optician and physicist. Investigated refraction and dispersion of light, which led to the development of the spectroscope.


Fresnal, Augustin Jean (1788-1827) France. Fresnal experimented extensively in the phenomenon of light. We know him well for the development of the Fresnal lenses, a type of compound lens used to produce the parallel beams of light necessary for the efficient operation of navigational lights.


Galileo (1564-1642) Italy. Scientist. Contributed much to mechanics, physics and astronomy. Galileo applied mathematics, careful observation,

experimentation and inductive reasoning to understand physical phenomenon.


Galvani, Luigi (1737-1798) Italy. Anatomist, physiologist. Experimented with the effects of electricity on muscle tissue.


Gutenberg, Johan (1400?-1468) Germany. Printer. Pioneer in the use of moveable type.


Holland, John Phillip ((1844-1914) Irish American inventor educated at the Christian Brother's School in Limerick, Ireland. Developed the first practical submarine for military use.


Letreille, Pierre Andre (1762-1833) France. While studying for the priesthood in Paris, his interest in zoology led him to contribute several papers on insects to various scientific societies.


Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent (1743-1794) France. Chemist. Father of modern chemistry.


Malphighi, Marcello (1628-1694) Italy. Anatomist appointed chief physician to Pope Innocent XII. Malphighi is the founder of microscopic anatomy.


Marconi, Marchese Guglielmo (1847-1937) Italy. Electrical engineer and inventor. He designed and operated the first practical radio signaling system.


Mariotte, Edme (1620?-1684) France. Physicist and prior of St. Martin sous Beaune in Dijon. Independently formulated the physical principle of gases commonly known as Boyles Law.


Mendel, Gregor Johann (1822-1884) Austria. Augustinian priest and botanist. Performed experiments in hybridization and the statistical analysis of long term genetic probability.


Morgagni, Giovann (1682-1771) Italy. Pathologist. Founder of modern pathology. Made important studies of aneurysms.


Pasteur, Louis ((1822-1895) France. The founder of physio-chemistry, the father of bacteriology, and the inventor of bio-therapeutics.


Regiomontanus, (Johann Muller) (1436-1476) Germany. Mathematician and astronomer. Collaborated with his patron, Bernhard Walther, in the construction of astronomical and mathematical instruments.


Secchi, Angelo (1818-1878) Italy. Astronomer. Trained as a Jesuit, Secchi did some work in the U.S. His chief discoveries were in the areas of solar physics and spectrum analysis.


Torricelli, Evangelista (1608-1647) Italy. Mathematician and physicist. He is best known for his development of the barometer, the space between the top of the tube and the mercury bears his name (Torricellian vacuum).


Volta, Count Alesandro (1745-1827) Italy. Physicist. Studied the phenomenon of frictional electricity, devised many experiments igniting gases with electrical sparks in closed containers.


-From "The Catholic Family's Magnificat!" Aug. 1994 Issue
With special thanks to Margie Breiling and Michael Breslin,
both from Michigan, for submission of the material above.


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"Whichever historical teaching method we may chooose, the goal of history study is not only the knowledge of natural events, but also comprehending - as far as humanly possible - those of the supernatural order." "
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