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Etienne-Louis Malus

Etienne-Louis Malus (July 23, 1775 - February 24, 1812) was a French officer, engineer, physicist, and mathematician.

Malus was born in Paris, France. He participated in the expedition into Egypt, 1798 to 1801. Malus became a member of the French academy of sciences in 1810.

His ground-breaking contribution in Optics was to define a measure (orientation angle) by which to characterize relations between a light source and a system of detectors. In applying such basic measurements, Malus determined the reflectivity of various sets of surfaces, and the birefringence of various translucent media.