Joseph Petzval (German: Josef Maximilian Petzval; Hungarian: Petzvál József Miksa; Slovak: Jozef Maximilián Petzval; (January 6, 1807, Zipser Bela, Kingdom of Hungary (it was in Hungary when Petzval was born, but is now in Slovakia) – September 19, 1891) was a Hungarian / Slovak mathematician, inventor, and physicist of German origin, born in Upper Hungary (today Slovakia). He is best known for his work in optics. Petzval studied and later lectured at the Institutum Geometricum (currently Budapest University of Technology and Economics) in Buda (today part of Budapest). He headed the Institute of Practical Geometry and Hydrology/Architecture between 1841 and 1848. Later in life, he accepted an appointment to a chair of mathematics at the University of Vienna. Petzval became a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 1873.
Petzval is considered to be one of the main founders of geometrical optics, modern photography and cinematography. Among his inventions are the Petzval portrait lens and opera glasses, both still in common use today. He is also credited with the discovery of the Laplace transform and is also known for his extensive work on aberration in optical systems.
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“The basic rule of human nature is that powerful people speak slowly and subservient people quicklybecause if they dont speak fast nobody will listen to them.”
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