Grimaldi, Francesco Maria

(redirected from Francesco Grimaldi)

Grimaldi, Francesco Maria

Grimaldi, Francesco Maria (fränchāsˈkō märēˈä grēmälˈdē), 1618?–1663, Italian physicist and mathematician. A Jesuit and professor at Bologna, he studied in detail and named the dark areas on the moon. Noted for his discoveries in the field of optics, he was the first to describe the diffraction of light (in a posthumous work published 1665) and the first to attempt a wave theory of light.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grimaldi, Francesco Maria


Born Apr. 2. 1618, in Bologna; died there Dec. 28, 1663. Italian physicist and astronomer; professor of mathematics at the Jesuit college in Bologna.

In his Physicomathematical Treatise on Light, Colors, and the Rainbow (published posthumously in 1665), Grimaldi gave a description of the diffraction of light, a phenomenon that he discovered. In his opinion, diffraction is caused by the appearance of waves in a luminous fluid striking the edges of an obstacle—that is, Grimaldi’s notions of light contain the rudiments of the wave theory of light. In collaboration with the Jesuit G. B. Riccioli, he compiled a map of the moon and introduced names for lunar formations that have been preserved to this day. He was an adversary of the heliocentric system and had a hand in drafting the Riccioli treatise directed against Copernicus.


Physico-mathesis de lumine, coloribus et iride. Bologna, 1665.


Ronchi, V. “L’ottica del P. Francesco Maria Grimaldi.” Bollettino di geodesia e scienze affini, 1955, vol. 14, no. 1.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Fleeing civil unrest in Genoa, forces led by Francesco Grimaldi seized the fortress in 1297, beginning the Grimaldi dynasty that rules Monaco to the present day.
Francesca is survived by her husband of 3 years, Thomas Chviruk; two sons, Albert Grimaldi of Worcester, Francesco Grimaldi of Worcester; two daughters, Christina McAuliffe and her husband Edward, and Anna Brigley all of Holden; a brother, Angelo Piombino and his wife Gianna, and a sister, Maria Gazzillo and her husband Pietro all of Worcester.
Francesco Grimaldi -- displaced the earlier maps and introduced the