If Paul Soleillet has a special section in this website this is probably because I have spent more time reading an understanding his PhD thesis than any other scientific paper. And I have to confess that at the beginning (my first contact with his work was 2011) I understood very little of it. However, this last two years I have been rereading this work several times, understanding more and more of it. And every time I was more amazed.
Last year I published how Soleillet pioneered the differential polarization calculus in the third part of his thesis. This year, together with my colleague Shane Nichols, I have published a new paper that emphasizes the contributions of Soleillet to the description of coherence and polarization in 3D (first and second part of his thesis).
I think that some of the results that we emphasize in this paper, originally discovered by Soleillet but that we put in a more recognizable, format are very important for the fluorescence polarimetry. If you are interested in the topic, I think our paper will be very useful.
Note about Soleillet’s biographical information
I am still looking for a photo of Paul Soleillet. I cannot believe that a person who died in 1992 and worked in major French scientific institutions for many decades has NO photo! I contact every place where he worked, without any luck.
However a couple of weeks ago I visited the Archives Nationales in Paris and I was able to access to several original documents of Paul Soleillet from when he enrolled the École normale supérieure. See below some of them.