Amici, Giovanni Battista
BornModena, (Italy), 25 March 1786
DiedFlorence, Italy, 10 April 1863
Giovanni Amici was an expert in optics as well as a very talented maker and user of lenses, objectives, prisms, and optical instruments.
After obtaining a degree in engineering, Amici became professor (from 1815) at Modena University. Here he began his studies in astronomy, making observations of the Sun, comets, Jupiter, and Saturn. In 1831 the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Leopoldo II, appointed him as director of Florence’s observatory.
Amici’s prism is quoted in every book on optics, and Giovan Donati was able to discover Joseph von Fraunhofer’s lines in stellar spectra by using a spectroscope suggested by Amici. Amici was also a great botanist.
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