FYI July 23, 2017

1840 – The Province of Canada is created by the Act of Union.
The United Province of Canada, or the Province of Canada, or the United Canadas was a British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations made by John Lambton, 1st Earl of Durham in the Report on the Affairs of British North America following the Rebellions of 1837–38.

The Act of Union 1840, passed July 23, 1840, by the British Parliament and proclaimed by the Crown on February 10, 1841,[1] merged the Colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada by abolishing their separate parliaments and replacing them with a single one with two houses, a Legislative Council as the upper chamber and the Legislative Assembly as the lower chamber. In the aftermath of the Rebellions of 1837–1838, unification of the two Canadas was driven by two factors. Firstly, Upper Canada was near bankruptcy because it lacked stable tax revenues, and needed the resources of the more populous Lower Canada to fund its internal transportation improvements. And secondly, unification was an attempt to swamp the French vote by giving each of the former provinces the same number of parliamentary seats, despite the larger population of Lower Canada. Although Durham’s report had called for the Union of the Canadas and for responsible government (a government accountable to an independent local legislature), only the first was implemented. The new government was to be led by an appointed Governor General accountable only to the British Crown and the Queen’s Ministers. Responsible government was not to be achieved until the second LaFontaine-Baldwin ministry in 1849.

The Province of Canada ceased to exist at Canadian Confederation on July 1, 1867, when it was redivided into the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. From 1791 to 1841, the territory roughly corresponding to modern-day Southern Ontario in Canada belonged to the British colony of Upper Canada, while the southern portion of modern-day Quebec belonged to Lower Canada (along with Labrador until 1809, when Labrador was transferred to the colony of Newfoundland[2]). Upper Canada was primarily English-speaking, whereas Lower Canada was primarily French-speaking.

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1775 – Étienne-Louis Malus, French physicist and mathematician (d. 1812)
Étienne-Louis Malus /ˈɛtiˌɛn ˈluːiː ˌməˈluːs/ (French: [malys]; 23 July 1775 – 24 February 1812) was a French officer, engineer, physicist, and mathematician.

Malus was born in Paris, France. He participated in Napoleon’s expedition into Egypt (1798 to 1801) and was a member of the mathematics section of the Institut d’Égypte. Malus became a member of the Académie des Sciences in 1810. In 1810 the Royal Society of London awarded him the Rumford Medal.

His mathematical work was almost entirely concerned with the study of light. He studied geometric systems called ray systems, closely connected to Julius Plücker’s line geometry. He conducted experiments to verify Christiaan Huygens’s theories of light and rewrote the theory in analytical form. His discovery of the polarization of light by reflection was published in 1809 and his theory of double refraction of light in crystals, in 1810.

Malus attempted to identify the relationship between the polarising angle of reflection that he had discovered, and the refractive index of the reflecting material. While he deduced the correct relation for water, he was unable to do so for glasses due to the low quality of materials available to him (most glasses at that time showing a variation in refractive index between the surface and the interior of the glass). It was not until 1815 that Sir David Brewster was able to experiment with higher quality glasses and correctly formulate what is known as Brewster’s law.

Malus is probably best remembered for Malus’s law, giving the resultant intensity, when a polariser is placed in the path of an incident beam. His name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel tower.

Selected works
Mémoire sur la mesure du pouvoir réfringent des corps opaques. in Nouveau bulletin des sciences de la Société philomathique de Paris, 1 (1807), 77–81
Mémoire sur de nouveaux phénomènes d’optique. ibid., 2 (1811), 291–295
Traité d’optique. in Mémoires présentés à l’Institut des sciences par divers savants, 2 (1811), 214–302
Théorie de la double réfraction de la lumière dans les substances cristallines. ibid., 303–508


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