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Rohrs, J. H. 5f
Routh, Edward John (1831-1907), mathematician, born at Quebec on 20 Jan. 1831. When eleven years of age Routh was brought to England, and was educated first at University College school, and later at University College, London, where the influence of Augustus De Morgan led him to devote himself to mathematics. He matriculated at London University in 1847, winning an exhibition; he graduated B.A. as a scholar in 1849, and carried off the gold medal for mathematics and natural philosophy in the examination for M.A. in 1853.
In 1857 he was invited to the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, with a view to a vacant post there as a first assistant. He did not take the appointment, but at Greenwich he met Hilda, eldest daughter of Sir George Biddell Airy [q.v.], the astronomer-royal, whom he married on 31 Aug. 1864.
For more than thirty years Routh's chief energies were spent at Cambridge in preparing private pupils for the mathematical tripos. His senior wranglers included Lord Rayleigh (1865, chancellor of Cambridge University), (Sir) Donal McAlister (1877, principal of Glasgow University), (Sir) Joseph Larmor (1880, M.P. for Cambridge University); and of other wranglers may be mentioned (Sir) J. J. Thomson, O.M.,.
Elected fellow of the Cambridge Philosophical Society in 1854, an original member of the London Mathematical Society in 1865, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1866, and of the Royal Society in 1872, he contributed to the ‘Proceedings’ of these societies as well as to the ‘Mathematical Messenger’ and the ‘Quarterly Journal of Mathematics’ numerous papers on varied topics in geometry, dynamics, physical astronomy, wave motion, vibrations, and harmonic analysis. As early as 1855 he had joined Lord Brougham in preparing a separate volume, ‘An Analytical View of Newton's Principia,’ and in 1860 he supplied an urgent want by issuing a masterly elementary treatise on ‘Rigid Dynamics’ (7th enlarged edit. 2 vols. 1905; German transl., Leipzig, 1898, with pref. by Prof. Klein of Göttingen). Other important contributions by Routh to mathematical literature were a treatise on ‘Statics’ (1891, 2 vols.; revised edit. 1896; enlarged edit. 1902) and ‘Dynamics of a Particle’ (1898). These three dynamical treatises constitute an encyclopædia and bibliography on the subject which have no equal either here or abroad. In 1877 Routh won the Adams prize with his ‘Treatise on the Stability of a Given State of Motion, particularly Steady Motion,’ which he wrote in a Christmas vacation. Since the publication of Hamilton's equations of motion and Sir William Thomson's (Lord Kelvin) theory of the ‘ignoration of co-ordinates’ no greater advance has probably been made in dynamics than by Routh's theorem of the ‘Modified Lagrangian Function,’ first given in this essay. A large part of the work on equations of motion in Thomson and Tait's ‘Natural Philosophy’ was rewritten for the second edition in the light of Routh's developments of the theme.
In 1883 he took the new Cambridge degree of Sc.D., he was also a fellow of the Geological Society from 1864 and of London University.
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Shoolbred, James Nelson (1835-1907) 3f
Stewardson, H. C.
Stok, Dr Johannes Paulus van der
1f. Author of Wind and weather, currents, tides and tidal streams in the East
Indian archipelago, Batavia 1897. Director of the Meteorological and Magnetical
(1851-1934) 1f. Author of Wind and weather, currents, tides and tidal streams in the East Indian archipelago, Batavia 1897. Director of the Meteorological and Magnetical Observatory.
Stokes, Sir George Gabriel (1819-1903), mathematician and physicist, born at Skreen, co. Sligo. First educated at Dr. Wall's school in Dublin from 1831, he proceeded in 1835 to Bristol college under Dr. Jerrard, the mathematician, and entered Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1837, becoming senior wrangler, first Smith's prizeman, and fellow of his college in 1841.
In his early Cambridge years he established a close scientific friendship with William Thomson (afterwards Lord Kelvin) [q.v.], which gathered force throughout their long lives. Both were impelled by the keenest interest in the advance of scientific discovery, but their endowments were in some respects complementary. Stokes remained a student throughout his life, closely pondering over mathematical questions and the causes of natural phenomena, perhaps over-cautious in drawing conclusions and in publication of his work, remarkable for his silence and abstraction even in crowded assemblies, but an excellent man of affairs, inspiring universal confidence for directness and impartiality in such administration as came to him. Thomson, during all his career, took Stokes as his mentor in the problems of pure science which he could not find leisure to probe fully for himself; and, though their opinions sometimes clashed, yet in the main no authority was with him more decisive or more venerated than that of his friend. In 1845, at the end of his undergraduate course, Thomson took over the editorship of the ‘Cambridge Mathematical Journal’, and for the following ten years his own contributions and those which he obtained from Stokes made that journal a classic. In 1849 Stokes was appointed Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, and he held the post till his death.
In his early years of residence as a graduate Stokes promoted most conspicuously the development of advanced mathematical knowledge at Cambridge. His own earliest work was mainly on the science of the motion of fluids, in a few years he developed it into an ordered mathematical and experimental theory. To this end, in addition to a very complete discussion of the phenomena of waves on water, he created, in two great memoirs of dates 1845 and 1850, the modern theory of the motion of viscous fluids. In the later of these memoirs the practical applications, especially to the important subject of the correction of standard pendulum observations for aerial friction, led him into refined extensions of mathematical procedure, necessary for the discussion of fluid motion around spheres and cylinders; these, though now included under wider developments in pure analysis, have remained models for physical discussion, and have been since extensively applied to acoustics and other branches of physical science.
The calculations relating to corrections for pendulums had led him into pure analysis connected with Bessel functions and other harmonic expansions; in various subsequent memoirs he established and justified the semi-convergent series necessary to their arithmetical use over the whole range of the argument, thus making practical advances that were assimilated only in later years into general analysis. Likewise the discrepancies which he encountered in practical applications of Fourier's theory led him as early as 1847 to a reasoned exposition of doctrines, now fundamental, relating to complete and limited convergence in infinite series. Here and elsewhere, however, his work developed rather along the path of advance of physical science than on the lines of formal pure analysis; and the recognition of its mathematical completeness was in consequence delayed.
In two memoirs of date 1849 (Papers, ii. 104-121), on the variation of gravity over the earth's surface, he became virtually the founder of the modern and more precise science of geodesy. The fundamental proposition was there established, as the foundation of the subject, that the form of the ocean level determines by itself the distribution of the earth's attraction everywhere outside it, without requiring any reference to the internal constitution of the earth, which in this regard must remain entirely unknown.
His earlier scientific work, with that of Helmholtz and Lord Kelvin, may be said to mark the breaking away of physical science from the à priori method depending on laws of attraction, which was inherited from the astronomers; for this there was substituted a combination of the powerful analysis by partial differentials, already cultivated by Laplace and Fourier, with close attention to the improvement of physical ideas and modes of expression of natural phenomena. The way was thereby prepared for Clerk Maxwell's interpretation of Faraday, and for the modern wide expansion of ideas.
The copious early output of Stokes's own original investigation slackened towards middle life. In 1851 he had been elected F.R.S., and next year was awarded the Rumford medal. In 1854 he became secretary of the Royal Society, and the thirty-one years of his tenure of this office (1854-85) were devoted largely to the advancement of science in England and the improvement of the publications of the Royal Society. There were few of the memoirs on physical science that passed to press through his hands that did not include valuable extensions and improvements arising from his suggestions. When the Indian geodetic survey was established, he was for many years its informal but laborious scientific adviser and guide. The observatory for solar physics, which was founded in 1878, was indebted to him in a similar manner. His scientific initiative as a member of the meteorological council, who managed from 1871 the British weather service, was a dominant feature of their activity. During these years the imperfect endowment of his chair at Cambridge made it necessary for him to supplement his income from other sources: thus he was for some time lecturer at the School of Mines, and a secretary of the Cambridge University Commission of 1877-81. He had vacated his fellowship at Pembroke on his marriage in 1857, but was re-elected under a new statute in 1869.
Stokes married on 4 July 1857 Mary (d. 30 Dec. 1899), daughter of Thomas Romney Robinson, the astronomer.
Stokes's writings have been collected into five volumes of ‘Mathematical and Physical Papers’ (Cambridge, 1880-1905) of which the first three were carefully edited by himself, and the other two were prepared posthumously by Sir Joseph Larmor, his successor in the Lucasian chair. Two volumes of his very important ‘Scientific Correspondence’ were published in 1907 under the same editorship, and include a biographical memoir (pp. 1-90).
There is a portrait by G. Lowes Dickinson in Pembroke College, and one by Sir Hubert von Herkomer at the Royal Society; marble busts by Hamo Thornycroft were presented to the Fitzwilliam Museum and to Pembroke College on the celebration of his jubilee as Lucasian professor in 1899, and a memorial medallion bust by the same sculptor is in Westminster Abbey.1
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Stotherd, Richard Hugh (1828-1895), major-general royal engineers, director-general of the ordnance survey of the United Kingdom, was born at Angler Castle, co. Tyrone, on 25 Nov. 1828. Educated at University College school, and at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, Stotherd received a commission as second lieutenant in the royal engineers on 2 May 1847. He went through the usual course of professional study at Chatham, and then served at Woolwich and at Gibraltar, and on his return home was posted to the ordnance survey of Great Britain and sent to Dumfries. After quitting the ordnance survey in 1861 Stotherd went to Weymouth, and then, to North America, where he acted as brigade major and assistant to the commanding royal engineer. He was commended for his services during the four years he served in Canada and New Brunswick. On Stotherd's return to England on 13 Feb. 1866 he was appointed instructor at the school of military engineering at Chatham. There he took up the question of the application of electricity to mining and to submarine mining (then in its infancy), and he also organised the first field telegraph. On 1 April 1883 Stotherd was appointed director-general of the ordnance survey of the United Kingdom, and went to its headquarters at Southampton. The time was a busy and important one for the survey. Large augmentations of staff had been made under his predecessor, Lieutenant-general A. C. Cooke, and increased work in all branches was in full swing, the result of a recommendation of the parliamentary select committee of 1878, that, in order to facilitate the transfer of land, the original large-scale surveys should be completed in 1890, instead of 1900. There was also the difficult question of the general revision of the national survey, for which, in the case of the large towns and cities, London in particular, the need was most pressing. Stotherd placed before the government a comprehensive scheme with an estimate for many years in advance, and urged strenuously the paramount importance of a systematic organic revision. He pointed out that as the field work of the ‘primary detail survey’ was all but finished, and the ‘trig.’ hands running out of work, the time was opportune for making a commencement, and so avoid a wholesale discharge of useful men taken on at a time of pressure. The result was treasury sanction to a tentative commencement.
In 1884 Stotherd prepared at Southampton special maps for the boundary commission in connection with Mr. Gladstone's Redistribution of Seats Bill. By working day and night nearly half a million of maps were prepared. Special thanks were accorded by the government to Stotherd for his promptitude in meeting their requirements, and he was made a C.B. In the adaptation of photography and electricity to the production of maps, Stotherd introduced practical improvements. On 25 Nov. 1886 he was compelled by the age rule to retire from the army and from his appointment, receiving the honorary rank of major-general. He died suddenly, from heart disease, on 1 May 1895 at Camberley, Surrey, where he resided.
Stotherd married first, on 11 June 1861, Caroline Frances Wood (d. 17 Feb.
1872); and secondly, Elizabeth Janet Melville, who survived him. He contributed articles to ‘The Professional Papers of the Corps of Royal Engineers,’ vols. xvii. and
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Strachey, Sir Richard (1817-1908), lieutenant-general, royal (Bengal) engineers, was born on 24 July 1817 at Sutton Court, Somerset. Educated at a private school at Totteridge, Richard entered the East India Company's military seminary at Addiscombe in 1834, and left it with a commission as second lieutenant in the Bombay engineers on 10 June 1836. After professional instruction at Chatham, Strachey went to India. At the end of campaigning frequent attacks of fever compelled him in 1847 to go to Nani Tal in the Kumaon Himalayas for his health. There he made the acquaintance of Major E. Madden, under whose guidance he studied botany and geology, making explorations into the Himalaya ranges west of Nepal for scientific purposes.
From this time until he left India for good Richard Strachey was a power in the country, and was, perhaps, the most remarkable man of a family which, for four generations, extending over more than a century, served the Indian government. A strong man with a determined will and a somewhat peppery temperament, he generally carried his way with beneficial results, though he sometimes took the wrong side in a controversy.
On his return home in 1879 Strachey was re-appointed to a seat in the council of India; he was one of the British commissioners at the Prime Meridian Conference held at Washington, U.S.A., in 1884, and was elected one of the secretaries; in 1887 he was chosen president of the Royal Geographical Society and held the post for two years; he was also an honorary member of the geographical societies of Berlin and of Italy.
In 1892 Strachey was one of the delegates to represent India at the international monetary conference at Brussels, and the same year he was a member of the committee on silver currency, when there was adopted a far-reaching reform which he had proposed when finance minister in India in 1878, viz. to close the Indian mint to the free coinage of silver. In June 1892 he received from the University of Cambridge the honorary degree of LL.D. Strachey did much good work for the Royal Society, served on its council four times, from 1872 to 1874, 1880 to 1881, 1884 to 1886, and 1890 to 1891, and was twice a vice-president; he was a member of its meteorological committee (which controlled the meteorological office) in 1867, and he was a member of the council which replaced the committee in 1876, and from 1883 to 1895 was its chairman. From 1873 he was on the committee of the Royal Society for managing the Kew observatory. The royal medal of the society was bestowed upon him in 1897 for his researches in physical and botanical geography and in meteorology, and the Royal Meteorological Society awarded him the Symons medal in 1906. His most important scientific contributions to knowledge were made in meteorology. For years he served on the committee of solar physics. A sound mathematician, Strachey delighted in mechanical inventions and especially in designing instruments to give graphic expression to formulas he had devised. In 1884 he designed an instrument called the ‘sine curve developer’ to show in a graphic form the results obtained by applying to hourly readings of barograms and thermograms his formula for the calculation of harmonic coefficients. In 1888 and 1890 he designed two ‘slide rules,’ one to facilitate the computation of the amplitude and time of maximum of harmonic constants from values obtained by applying his formula to hourly readings of barograms and thermograms; the other to obtain the height of clouds from measurements of two photographs taken simultaneously with cameras placed at the ends of a base line half a mile in length. Strachey had been granted a distinguished service pension and created C.S.I. in 1866, after thirty years' service. Subsequently he declined the offer of K.C.S.I. But on the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 he was gazetted G.C.S.I. After leaving India he lived at Stowey House on Clapham Common; later he moved to Lancaster Gate, and only a few months before his death to Hampstead. He died at 67 Belsize Park Gardens on 12 Feb. 1908, and was cremated.
On his return from India in 1879 Richard Strachey collaborated with his brother John in writing ‘The Finances and Public Works of India’ (1882), a record of their joint achievements from 1869 to 1881. In the preface to the fourth edition (1911) of Sir John Strachey's ‘India: its Administration and Progress,’: ‘It describes a system of government which they, more than any other public servants of their day, had helped to fashion. It narrates the concrete results of this system, with intimate first-hand knowledge of its working and of the country and the populations which it affected, with an honourable pride in its pacific triumphs and in the benefits which it had conferred on their fellow Indian subjects.’
Sir Richard was twice married: to Caroline Anne (d. 1855) daughter of the Rev. George Downing Bowles; (2)
to Jane Maria, daughter of Sir John Peter Grant. A portrait in oils (1889) another in
water-colours a third in pastel (1902) and a medallion in bronze (1898), are in possession of the family.
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Taylor, Alfred Swaine (1806-1880), medical jurist, born at Northfleet, Kent, was the eldest son of Thomas Taylor of Northfleet, a captain in the East India Company's maritime service. After being privately educated at Dr. Benson's school, Albemarle House, Hounslow, he was apprenticed in June 1822 to Mr. D. Macrae, a medical practitioner at Lenham, near Maidstone, and in 1823 he was entered as a student at the then united hospitals of Guy and St. Thomas. In 1831, at the age of twenty-five, Taylor accepted the professorship of medical jurisprudence at Guy's Hospital, then first created, and he held the office till 1877. His inaugural course of lectures on medical jurisprudence was the first delivered in this country, and was attended by many leading members of the bar and by some judges. In 1832 he was appointed joint-lecturer on chemistry at Guy's.
Taylor's services were for a long period in much demand as a witness in criminal investigations. His wide experience of courts of law dissatisfied him with the system of engaging medical scientific witnesses for and against an accused person. He advocated the adoption of a system of experts or assessors whose independent position would relieve them of all taint of partisanship.
In 1839 Taylor began to interest himself in the discovery of ‘photogenic drawing’ by William Henry Fox Talbot [q.v.]. He suggested the use of hyposulphate of lime as a ‘fixer,’ and devised other valuable improvements in Talbot's processes which he described in ‘The Art of Photogenic Drawing,’ 1840. In 1845 he was elected fellow of the Royal Society.
He died from heart disease at his residence, 15 St. James's Terrace, Regent's Park. In
1834 he married Caroline Cancellor. Taylor's portrait is among those of ‘the fathers of photography’ in the South Kensington Museum.
Thomson, Frances A. Wife of Kelvin.
Thomson, James (1822-1892), professor of engineering, was born in Belfast. His father superintended his early education and that of his brother William (now Lord Kelvin). In 1832, when only ten years of age, he commenced attending the university of Glasgow, and in 1834 matriculated. In 1839 he graduated M.A., with honours in mathematics and natural philosophy. In 1840 he entered the office of John MacNeill in Dublin, but, his health giving way, he was obliged in a short time to return to Glasgow. Recovering, he next year spent six months in the engineering department of the Lancefield Spinning Mill, Glasgow, and afterwards became a pupil successively in the Horsley Ironworks at Tipton, Staffordshire, and in Messrs Fairbairn & Co.'s works. But ill-health again drove him home. In 1851 he settled as a civil engineer in Belfast, where in November 1853 he became resident engineer to the water commissioners, and in 1857 he was appointed by the crown professor of civil engineering in Queen's College. He held that post till 1873, when he was elected successor to the similar chair in Glasgow University.
Thomson's inventive genius showed itself early. When only sixteen or seventeen he constructed a clever mechanism for feathering the floats of the paddles of steamers. A little later he devised a curious river-boat, which by means not only of paddles, but of legs reaching to the bottom, could propel itself against a current. In the winter of 1842-3 he gained the Glasgow University silver medal for an essay on ‘The comparative Advantages of the Methods employed to heat Dwelling-houses and Public Buildings.’ About this time he began devising improvements in water-wheels. He constructed a horizontal wheel which he named a ‘Danaide,’ and somewhat later another which he patented on 3 July 1850 (No. 13156) and named the ‘Vortex Water-wheel.’ This came into extensive use. At Belfast he occupied himself for several years with investigations as to the properties of whirling fluids, which led to his devising valuable improvements in the action of blowing fans, to the invention of a centrifugal pump, and to important improvements in turbines. A jet-pump which he designed has done important work in draining low-lying lands.
In 1848 he began his many contributions to the scientific journals. In a remarkable paper on ‘The Effect of Pressure in lowering the Freezing-point of Water,’
he expounded the principles which in 1857 he used as the foundation of his explanation of the plasticity of ice, a subject which continued to engage his attention for years.
Thomson received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Glasgow in 1870, that of D.Sc. in 1875 from the Queen's University in Ireland, and that of LL.D. from the university of Dublin in 1878. He was elected F.R.S. in 1877.
Thomson, William (1824-1907) , man of science and inventor, born in College Square East,
Belfast. When William was six years old his mother died, and the father himself taught the boys, who never went to school. In 1832, when William was eight, his father moved to Glasgow as professor of mathematics in the university there. In 1834, in his eleventh year, William matriculated in the University of Glasgow. He loved in later life to talk of his student days and of his teachers, William Ramsay, Lushington, Thomas Thomson, Meikleham, and John Pringle Nichol. He early made his mark in mathematics and physical
science. At the same time he systematically studied the ‘Mécanique Analytique’ of Lagrange, and the ‘Mécanique Céleste’ of Laplace, and made the acquaintance,
a notable event in his career, of Fourier's ‘Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur,’ reading it through in a fortnight, and studying it during a three months' visit to Germany. The effect of reading Fourier dominated his whole career. During his last year at Glasgow (1840-1) he communicated to the ‘Cambridge Mathematical Journal’ (ii. May 1841), under the signature ‘P.Q.R.,’ an original paper ‘On Fourier's Expansions of Functions in Trigonometrical Series,’ which was a defence of Fourier's deductions against some strictures of Professor
, man of science and inventor, born in College Square East, Belfast. When William was six years old his mother died, and the father himself taught the boys, who never went to school. In 1832, when William was eight, his father moved to Glasgow as professor of mathematics in the university there. In 1834, in his eleventh year, William matriculated in the University of Glasgow. He loved in later life to talk of his student days and of his teachers, William Ramsay, Lushington, Thomas Thomson, Meikleham, and John Pringle Nichol. He early made his mark in mathematics and physical science. At the same time he systematically studied the ‘Mécanique Analytique’ of Lagrange, and the ‘Mécanique Céleste’ of Laplace, and made the acquaintance, a notable event in his career, of Fourier's ‘Théorie Analytique de la Chaleur,’ reading it through in a fortnight, and studying it during a three months' visit to Germany. The effect of reading Fourier dominated his whole career. During his last year at Glasgow (1840-1) he communicated to the ‘Cambridge Mathematical Journal’ (ii. May 1841), under the signature ‘P.Q.R.,’ an original paper ‘On Fourier's Expansions of Functions in Trigonometrical Series,’ which was a defence of Fourier's deductions against some strictures of Professor Kelland.
He left Glasgow after six years without taking his degree; and on 6 April 1841 entered as a student at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he speedily made his mark. An undergraduate of seventeen, he handled methods of difficult integration readily and with mastery, and proved his power in a paper entitled ‘The Uniform Motion of Heat in Homogeneous Solid Bodies, and its Connection with the Mathematical Theory of Electricity,’ published in 1842. In other papers he announced various important theorems, in some of which he found, however, that he had been anticipated by master minds in mathematics. At Cambridge he rowed in the college races of 1844.
On leaving Cambridge he visited Faraday's laboratory at the Royal Institution in London. Faraday and Fourier were the chief heroes of his youthful enthusiasm. Then he went to Paris University to work in the laboratory of Regnault with a view to acquiring experimental skill. There he spent four months, and there also he made the acquaintance of Biot, Liouville, Sturm, and Foucault. In 1846, at twenty-two, he became professor of natural philosophy in Glasgow on the death of Meikleham. The subject of his inaugural dissertation (3 Nov. 1846) was ‘De Motu Caloris per Terræ Corpus.’ He held this professorship till 1899. Admittedly a bad expositor, he proved himself to be a most inspiring teacher and a leader in research. With the slenderest material resources and most inadequate room, he created a laboratory of physics, the first of its kind in Great Britain, where he worked incessantly, gathering around him a band of enthusiastic students to collaborate in pioneering researches. In the lecture theatre his enthusiasm won for him the love and respect of all students, even those who were unable to follow his frequent flights into the more abstruse realms of mathematical physics. Over the earnest students of natural philosophy he exercised an influence little short of inspiration, which extended gradually far beyond the bounds of his own university.
Thomson was never satisfied with any phenomenon until it should have been brought into the stage where numerical accuracy could be determined. He must measure, he must weigh, in order that he might go on to calculate. ‘The first step,’ he wrote, ‘toward numerical reckoning of properties of matter; is the discovery of a continuously varying action of some kind, and the means of observing it definitely, and measuring it in terms of some arbitrary unit or scale division. But more is necessary to complete the science of measurement in any department, and that is the fixing on something absolutely definite as the unit of reckoning.’ It was in this spirit that Thomson approached the subject of the transformation of heat.
He set himself to answer the question: Is there any principle on which an absolute thermometric scale can be founded? He arrived at the answer that such a scale is obtained as the absolute zero of temperature the point which would be marked as - 273° on the air thermometer scale. He formulated between 1851 and 1854, the two great laws of thermodynamics. He gave the second law, that it is impossible by means of inanimate material agency to derive mechanical effect from any portion of matter by cooling it below the temperature of the coldest of the surrounding objects. Further, by a most ingenious use of the integrating factor to solve the differential equation for the quantity of heat needed to alter the volume and temperature of unit mass of the working substance, he gave precise mathematical proof of the theorem that the efficiency of the perfect engine working between given temperatures is inversely proportional to the absolute temperature. In collaboration with Joule, he worked at the ‘Thermal Effects of Fluids in Motion,’ the results appearing between 1852 and 1862.
This brilliant development and generalisation of the subject did not content Thomson. He inquired into its applications to human needs and to the cosmic consequences it involved. If the availability of the energy in a hot body be proportional to its absolute temperature, it follows that as the earth and the sun, indeed, the whole solar system itself, cool down towards one uniform level of temperature, all life must perish and all energy become unavailable. This far-reaching conclusion once more suggested the question of a beginning of the Cosmos, a question which had arisen in the consideration of the Fourier doctrine of the flow of heat.
In 1852 Thomson married his second cousin Margaret, daughter of Walter Crum, F.R.S. His wife's precarious health necessitated residence abroad at various times. In the summer of 1855, while they stayed at Kreuznach, Thomson sent to Helmholtz, whose acquaintance he desired to make, an invitation to come to England in September to attend the British Association meeting at Glasgow. On 29 July Helmholtz arrived at Kreuznach to make Thomson's acquaintance before his journey to England. On 6 August Helmholtz wrote to his wife of the deep impression that Thomson, ‘one of the first mathematical physicists of Europe,’ made on him. ‘He far exceeds all the great men of science with whom I have made personal acquaintance, in intelligence, and lucidity, and mobility of thought, so that I felt quite wooden beside him sometimes.’ A year later Helmholtz again met Thomson at Schwalbach and described him as ‘certainly one of the first mathematical physicists of the day, with powers of rapid invention such as I have seen in no other man.’ Subsequently Helmholtz visited Thomson in Scotland many times, and his admiration grew steadily.
The utilisation of science for practical ends was Thomson's ambition through life. At the Edinburgh meeting of the British Association in 1854 Thomson read a paper ‘On Mechanical Antecedents of Motion, Heat, and Light.’ Here, after touching on the source of the sun's heat and the energy of the solar system, Thomson reverted to his favourite argument from Fourier according to which, if traced backwards, there must have been a beginning to which there was no antecedent.
In the winter of 1860-1 Thomson had met with a severe accident. He fell on the ice when curling at Largs, and broke his thigh. The accident left him with a slight limp for the rest of his life.
At the same time he urged the application of improved systems of electric measurement and the adoption of rational units. In 1861 he cordially supported the proposal of Bright and Clark to give the names of ohm, volt, and farad to the practical units based on the centimetre-gramme-second absolute system, and on his initiative was formed the Committee of Electrical Standards of the British Association, which afterwards went far in perfecting the standards and the methods of electrical measurement. He was largely responsible for the international adoption of the system of units by his advocacy of them at the Paris Congress in 1881. He was an uncompromising advocate of the metric system, and lost no opportunity of denouncing the ‘absurd, ridiculous, time-wasting, brain-destroying British system of weights and measures.’
In these years Thomson was also writing on the secular cooling of the earth, and investigating the changes of form during rotation of elastic spherical shells. At the same time he embarked with his friend Professor Peter Guthrie Tait on the preparation of a text-book of natural philosophy. Though the bulk of the writing was done by Tait, the framework of its thought and its most original parts are due to Thomson. The first part of the first volume of Thomson and Tait's ‘Treatise on Natural Philosophy’ was published in 1867, the second part only in 1874. No more was published, though the second edition of the first part was considerably enlarged. The book had the effect of revolutionising the teaching of natural philosophy.
In 1870 Lady Thomson, whose health had been failing for several years, died. In the same year the University of Glasgow was removed to the new buildings on Gilmore Hill, overlooking the Kelvin River. Thomson had a house here in the terrace assigned for the residences of the professors, adjoining his laboratory and lecture-room.
On 17 June 1874 he married Frances Anna Blandy of Madeira, whom he had met on cable-laying expeditions. In 1875 he built at Netherhall, near Largs, a mansion in the Scottish baronial style; and in his later life, though he had a London house in Eaton Place, Netherhall was his chief home. From his youth he had been fond of the sea, and had early owned boats on the Clyde. For many years his sailing yacht the Lalla Rookh was conspicuous, and he was an accomplished navigator. His experiences at sea in cable-laying had taught him much, and in return he was now to teach science in navigation. Between 1873 and 1878 he reformed the mariners' compass, on which he undertook to write a series of articles in ‘Good Words’ in 1873; he lightened the moving parts of the compass to avoid protracted oscillations, and to facilitate the correction of the quadrantal and other errors arising from the magnetism of the ship's hull. At first the Admiralty would have none of it. Even the astronomer royal condemned it. ‘So much for the astronomer royal's opinion,’ he ejaculated. But the compass won its way; and until recently was all but universally adopted both in the navy and in the mercantile marine (see, for Thomson's contributions to navigation, his Popular Lectures, vol. iii., and the Kelvin Lecture (1910) of Sir J. A. Ewing).
Dissatisfied with the clumsy appliances used in sounding, when the ship had to be stopped before the sounding line could be let down, Thomson devised in 1872 the well-known apparatus for taking flying soundings by using a line of steel piano wire. He had great faith in navigating by use of sounding line, and delighted to narrate how, in 1877, in a time of continuous fog, he navigated his yacht all the way across the Bay of Biscay into the Solent trusting to soundings only. He also published a set of Tables for facilitating the use of Sumner's method at sea. He was much occupied with the question of the tides, not merely as a sailor, but because of the interest attending their mathematical treatment in connection with the problems of the rotation of spheroids, the harmonic analysis of their complicated periods by Fourier's methods, and their relation to hydrodynamic problems generally. He invented a tide-predicting machine, which will predict for any given port the rise and fall of the tides, which it gives in the form of a continuous curve recorded on paper; the entire curves for a whole year being inscribed by the machine automatically in about four hours. Further than this, adopting a mechanical integrator, the device of his ingenious brother, James Thomson, he invented a harmonic
analyser, the first of its kind, capable not only of analysing any given periodic curve such as the tidal records and exhibiting the values of the coefficients of the various terms of the Fourier series, but also of solving differential equations of any order.
Thomson's various inventions, electrometers, galvanometers, siphon-recorders, and his compasses were at first made by James White, an optician of Glasgow. In White's firm, which became Kelvin & White, Limited, he was soon a partner, taking the keenest commercial interest in its operations, and frequenting the factory daily to superintend the construction. To meet demands for new measuring instruments he devised from time to time potential galvanometers, ampere gauges, and a whole series of standard electric balances for electrical engineers. His patented inventions thus grew very numerous. Up to 1900 they numbered fifty-six. Of these eleven related to telegraphy, eleven to compasses and navigation apparatus, six to dynamo machines or electric lamps, twenty-five to electric measuring instruments, one to the electrolytic production of alkali, and two to valves for fluids. Thomson's teaching was always characterised by a peculiar fondness for illustrating recondite notions by models. The habit was possibly derived from Faraday; but he developed it beyond precedent. ‘I never satisfy myself,’ he wrote, ‘until I can make a mechanical model of a thing. If I can make a mechanical model, I can understand it. As long as I cannot make a mechanical model all the way through I cannot understand it.’ He built up chains of spinning gyrostats to show how the rigidity derived from the inertia of rotation might illustrate the property of elasticity. The vortex-atom presented a dynamical picture of an ideal material system. He strung together little balls and beads with sticks and elastic bands to demonstrate crystalline dynamics. Throughout all his mathematical speculation his grip of the physical reality never left him, and he associated every mathematical process with a physical significance.
In 1893 Lord Kelvin astonished the audience at the Royal Institution by a discourse on ‘Isoperimetrical Problems,’ endeavouring to give a popular account of the mathematical process of determining a maximum or minimum, which he illustrated by Dido's task of cutting an ox-hide into strips so as to enclose the largest piece of ground; by Horatius Cocles' prize of the largest plot that a team of oxen could plough in a day; and by the problem of running the shortest railway line between two given points over uneven country. On another occasion he entertained the Royal Society with a discourse on the ‘Homogeneous Partitioning of Space,’ in which the fundamental packing of atoms was geometrically treated, and he incidentally propounded the theory of the designing of wall-paper patterns.
In 1884 Thomson delivered at Baltimore twenty lectures, his hearers, mostly accomplished teachers and professors, numbered twenty-six.
Honours fell thickly on Thomson in his later life. He was thrice offered and thrice declined the Cavendish professorship of physics at Cambridge. He had been made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1851, and in 1883 had been awarded the Copley medal. He was president from 1890 to 1894. He was raised to the peerage in 1892. He was one of the original members of the Order of Merit founded in 1902, was a grand officer of the Legion of Honour, and held the Prussian Order Pour le Mérite. In 1902 he was named a privy councillor. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Lord Kelvin's portrait was painted in 1869. Another portrait was presented to Glasgow University in 1892. A third portrait was presented to the Royal Society in 1899. A fourth portrait was exhibited in 1902. A statue was erected in Belfast in 1910. He wrote 68 tidal letters, chiefly to Darwin, Baird and Adams; and received 86 from chiefly Darwin, Roberts, Evans and Strachey. Portrait
Tizard, Thomas Henry (1839-1924), oceanographer, hydrographic surveyor, and navigator, was born at Weymouth. He was educated at the Royal Hospital School, Greenwich, at that time noted for its sound mathematical training, and entered the royal navy by competitive examination as master's assistant in 1854. Tizard was largely responsible for an important series of observations on the surface and under-currents in the Straits of Gibraltar, which set at rest the vexed question of the movements of these waters.
Towards the end of 1872 led to Tizard's transference to the Challenger. The appointment opened out to him the great opportunity of his life in bringing him into contact with the leaders of the science of oceanography. The Challenger expedition resulted in a vast increase of knowledge of the physical condition of the oceans and of the distribution of marine life, and in the progressive improvement of apparatus and methods of research. Tizard remained with the Challenger until she paid off in 1876, and spent the next three years at the Admiralty writing the narrative of the voyage in association with Sir John Murray.
In 1879 Tizard resumed surveying duties afloat, and took charge of the Home survey. During the nine years that he held this command he wrote many papers of scientific value and interest. Among these may be mentioned a report on deep-sea exploration in the Faroe Channel (Proceedings of the Royal Society, vol. xxxv, 1883, and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. xi, 1882); lectures on Marine Surveying and Hydrographic Surveying (Professional Papers of the Corps of Royal Engineers, 1885 and 1890), and an article on the ‘Thames Estuary’ (Nature, April 1890) which is of great permanent value. He was promoted to staff captain in 1889, and in 1891 was appointed assistant hydrographer of the navy, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society.
Tizard married Mary Elizabeth Churchward. 1 letter
Vaughan D aniel (fl.1821-1878) of Cincinnati, Ohio.
aniel (fl.1821-1878) of Cincinnati, Ohio. 2f
Walker, James Thomas (1826-1896):
On 12th March 1861 he was appointed
superintendent of the
Trigonometrical Survey of India. After he had been on
leave, via Russia, it was decided to undertake
the great work 'Account
of the Operations of the Great Trigonometrical Survey
of India the first nine supervised by him beginning 1871.
In 1873 he began to devote his attention to the dispersion of
errors in the triangulation, with the result
that no trigonometrical survey is superior to
that of India in accuracy. To
Walker also was due the initiation of a scheme of tidal
observations at different ports on the Indian
Coast. He elaborated the system and devised the
method of analysing the
observations, FRGS 1859 FRS 1865. In May 1895 India’s
Walton W 1f
Wharton, Sir William James Lloyd (1843-1905), rear-admiral and hydrographer of the navy, was born in London. After receiving his early education at Woodcote, Gloucestershire, and at the Royal Naval Academy, Gosport, Wharton entered the navy in August 1857. On passing his examination in 1865 he was awarded the Beaufort prize for mathematics, astronomy, and navigation [see Beaufort, Sir Francis]. On 2 March 1872 he received his promotion to commander, and in April was appointed to command the Shearwater, in which during the next four years he made surveys in the Mediterranean and on the east coast of Africa. ‘In the Mediterranean his work was especially distinguished, and his examination of the surface and under-currents in the Bosphorus, the account of which was officially published, not only solved a curious problem in physical geography, but may be considered as prescribing the method for similar inquiries.’ In May 1876 he was appointed to the Fawn, and continued his surveys on the same stations till 1880. On 29 Jan. 1880 he was promoted to captain, and in February 1882 was appointed to the Sylvia, in which he conducted surveys on the coast of South America, and especially in the Straits of Magellan. In 1882 he published his ‘Hydrographical Surveying: a Description of the Methods employed in constructing Marine Charts,’ a work which at once took its place as the standard textbook of the subject. In August 1884 he was appointed hydrographer to the navy in succession to Sir Frederick Evans [q.v.], and continued to hold this post, with increasing credit, until August 1904, when the state of his health compelled him to resign it. Wharton was a fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Astronomical and Royal Geographical Societies. He was perhaps most devoted to the last-named of these, as a vice-president, and as a member of numerous committees on which he did much important work. In 1899 he took a prominent part in the work of the joint Antarctic Committee of the Royal and Royal Geographical Societies.
The chief of Wharton's publications were his ‘Hydrographical Surveying,’ already mentioned, of which new editions continue to appear; ‘Hints to Travellers,’ an edition of which he edited for the Royal Geographical Society in 1893; and the ‘Journal of Captain Cook's First Voyage,’ which he edited with notes in 1893.
In July 1905 Wharton left England for Capetown to act as president of the geographical section of the British Association, which was holding its annual meeting in South Africa. He attended all the meetings of the association, and subsequently visited the Victoria Falls of the Zambesi. There he fell ill of enteric fever. He was removed to the Observatory, Capetown, where he was the guest of Sir David Gill. He was buried at Simonstown. He married Lucy
Georgina Holland. After his death ‘The Wharton Testimonial Fund’ was formed wherewith an addition was made to the value of the existing Beaufort prize for naval officers, the double award being entitled ‘The Beaufort Testimonial and the Wharton Memorial,’ and including a gold medal, bearing on its obverse Wharton's bust. Two posthumous portraits were also presented in 1908, one of which was accepted by the Trustees of the National Portrait Gallery and hung there immediately; and the other was placed in the Painted Hall at Greenwich.
He wrote 16 tidal letters chiefly to Darwin and received 3.
Whipple, Robert Stewart (1871-1953)
White, T. O.
White, W., (fl.1879). Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society. He sent one tidal letter.
Whitehouse, A. 1f
Wright, T .