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  • Gustave Le Bon was a French social psychologist, sociologist, anthropologist, inventor, and amateur physicist. He is best known for his 1895 work The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. His writings incorporate theories of national traits, racial superiority, herd behavior and crowd psychology. Le Bon began his writing career working in the new field of anthropology. In the 1870s he invented a pocket cephalometer, or as he called it, a "Compass of Coordinates", which was an instrument that allowed one to quickly measure the head's various angles, diameters, and profiles. In effect, the instrument was able to reproduce the measurements of any 3-D solid figure. Because it was small and portable the device was easily incorporated into the research programs of anthropologists. Le Bon himself, in 1881, used the cephalometer to measure the heads of 50 inhabitants of the remote Tatras Mountains region of southern Poland. His paper, "The Pocket Cephalometer, or Compass of Coordinates" is written in the style of a user's manual, and stands as an important historical document that details how 19th Century anthropologists initially practiced their science. Le Bon's physical theories generated some mild controversy in the physics community. In 1896 he reported observing a new kind of radiation, which he termed "black light". Not the same as what today people call black light, though it was later discovered not to exist. His theory of the nature of matter and energy was expanded upon in his book The Evolution of Matter. The book was popular in France, going through 12 editions. The major premise of the book is matter is an inherently unstable substance and slowly transforms into luminiferous ether. One major supporter was Henri Poincaré, however by 1900 physicists had rejected his formulation. Wikipedia

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