Jean-Antoine Nollet

Abbé Nollet

1700 (Pimpré, France) – 1770 (Paris)

Nollet was a serious experimenter, a scientific showman, and purveyor of scientific instruments to the wealthy, Voltaire included. He assisted du Fay and Réaumur at the Académie des Sciences. Franklin (with whom he disagreed), Spallanzani (with curiously-overlapping interests) and Volta were correspondents. In Leyden, Nollet visited Desaguiliers, s’Gravesande and Musschenbroek (who invented the Leyden jar — named by Nollet — and showed him a way of making moving images). Lavoisier, Monge and Coulomb were among his students. After visiting, he corresponded for 2 decades with Bassi, Europe’s first female professor.

Jean-Antoine Nollet knew…