Napoléon Parent

François-Napoléon-Marie Moigno

François-Napoléon-Marie Moigno (b. at Guéméné, Morbihan, 15 April1804; d. at Saint-Denis, Seine, 14 July1884) was a French Jesuit physicist and author. The crater Moigno on the Moon is named after him.


He received his early education at the Jesuit college at Sainte-Anne d'Auray and entered the novitiate of the order 2 September, 1822. He made his theological studies at Montrouge, devoting his leisure to mathematics and physics.

On the outbreak of the Revolution of 1830, he left with his fellow-Jesuits for Brieg in Switzerland. Here he acquired several languages, including Hebrew and Arabic. In 1836 he was appointed professor of mathematics at the college of Ste-Geneviève, Rue des Postes, in Paris. Here he became known not only as a scholar, but also as a preacher and writer. He wrote numerous articles for the press; he was engaged on one of his best known works, "Leçons de calcul différentiel et de calcul intégral", based chiefly on Cauchy's methods, and had already published the first volume, when he left the Society in 1843.

Shortly afterwards he undertook a tour of Europe, contributing numerous letters to the journal "L'Epoque". He acted as chaplain of the Lycée Louis-le-Grand from 1848 to 1851. He became scientific editor of the "Presse" in 1850 and of the "Pays" in 1851 and in 1852 founded the scientific journal "Cosmos". In 1862 he founded "Les Mondes" and became associated with the clergy of St-Germain des Prés. In 1873 he was appointed one of the canons of the chapter of Saint-Denis.


Moigno was a prolific writer, an expositor of science rather than an original investigator. He also translated numerous English and Italian memoirs on science into French, and edited the "Actualités scientifiques".

Among his works are:

  • "Répertoire d'optique moderne" (Paris, 1847–50);
  • "Traité de télégraphie électrique" (Paris, 1849);
  • "Leçons de mécanique analytique" (Paris, 1868);
  • "Saccharimétrie" (Paris, 1869);
  • "Optique moléculaire" (Paris, 1873);
  • "Les splendeurs de la foi" (Paris, 1879–83);
  • "Les livres saints et la science" (Paris, 1884), etc.,

and numerous articles in the "Comptes Rendus", "Revue Scientifique", "Cosmos", etc.


  • Cosmos, 3rd series, VIII, 443.

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