As well as being able to test that thermal radiation has wave properties, just like light waves (in other words, that it refracts and polarises), the Melloni bench also enables us to analyse and measure the capacity of certain bodies to absorb and emit thermal radiation or to fulfil other actions. This optical bench was invented by the Italian researcher Macedonio Melloni (1798-1854) and was widely used during the mid-19th century. The components of this piece had been completely divided up and separated, and there was a huge amount of work involved in identifying, restoring and uniting them one by one to rebuild the apparatus. Our instrument was manufactured by a Parisian atelier of scientific instruments during the last quarter of the 19th century.
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