Augustin Fresnel was a French physicist born in 1741. His greatest achievements were in the field of physical optics. Fresnel created the basic format for optical theory. Today scientists continue to use Fresnel's format for their own theories and developments. Fresnel also created the flat prism and a special lens still used today in many optical devices. Augustin Fresnel was an ingenious investigator of his time and passed away in 1817.