by: Joseph Mesias
Place of Birth: Auxerre, France
Date of Birth: March 21, 1768
Date of Death: May 16, 1830
Education: Ecole Normale Superieure
Major Contribution to Physics
Fourier was best known for initiating the investigation of the Fourier Series and their applications to problems of heat transfer and vibrations.
Joseph Fourier created the Fourier Series, where it is a way to represent a wave-like function as the sum of simple sine waves. Also founded the Fourier transform. The Fourier transform decomposes a function of time (a signal) into the frequencies that make it up. Fourier also discovered the greenhouse effect, where he considered it a possibility that the Earth's atmosphere might act as an insulator of some kind.