The Lord Rayleigh
|Born||12 November 1842|
Langford Grove, Maldon, Essex, England
|Died||30 June 1919 76) (aged|
Terling Place, Witham, Essex, England
|Alma mater||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Fields||Physics, optics, acoustics|
|Institutions||Trinity College, Cambridge|
|Academic advisors|| Edward John Routh |
Sir George Stokes
John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, // ; 12 November 1842 – 30 June 1919), was a British scientist who made extensive contributions to both theoretical and experimental physics. He spent all of his academic career at the University of Cambridge. Among many honors, he received the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies." He served as President of the Royal Society from 1905 to 1908 and as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge from 1908 to 1919.(
Rayleigh provided the first theoretical treatment of the elastic scattering of light by particles much smaller than the light's wavelength, a phenomenon now known as "Rayleigh scattering", which notably explains why the sky is blue. He studied and described transverse surface waves in solids, now known as "Rayleigh waves". He contributed extensively to fluid dynamics, with concepts such as the Rayleigh number (a dimensionless number associated with natural convection), Rayleigh flow, the Rayleigh–Taylor instability, and Rayleigh's criterion for the stability of Taylor–Couette flow. He also formulated the circulation theory of aerodynamic lift. In optics, Rayleigh proposed a well known criterion for angular resolution. His derivation of the Rayleigh–Jeans law for classical black-body radiation later played an important role in birth of quantum mechanics (see Ultraviolet catastrophe). Rayleigh's textbook The Theory of Sound (1877) is still used today by acousticians and engineers.
Strutt was born on 12 November 1842 at Langford Grove in Maldon, Essex. In his early years he suffered from frailty and poor health.He attended Eton College and Harrow School (each for only a short period), before going on to the University of Cambridge in 1861 where he studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree (Senior Wrangler and 1st Smith's Prize) in 1865, and a Master of Arts in 1868. He was subsequently elected to a Fellowship of Trinity. He held the post until his marriage to Evelyn Balfour, daughter of James Maitland Balfour, in 1871. He had three sons with her. In 1873, on the death of his father, John Strutt, 2nd Baron Rayleigh, he inherited the Barony of Rayleigh.
He was the second Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge (following James Clerk Maxwell), from 1879 to 1884. He first described dynamic soaring by seabirds in 1883, in the British journal Nature [ citation needed ]. From 1887 to 1905 he was Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution.
Around the year 1900 Rayleigh developed the duplex (combination of two) theory of human sound localisation using two binaural cues, interaural phase difference (IPD) and interaural level difference (ILD) (based on analysis of a spherical head with no external pinnae). The theory posits that we use two primary cues for sound lateralisation, using the difference in the phases of sinusoidal components of the sound and the difference in amplitude (level) between the two ears.
During the First World War, he was president of the government's "Advisory Committee for Aeronautics", which was located at the National Physical Laboratory, and chaired by Richard Glazebrook.
In 1919, Rayleigh served as President of the Society for Psychical Research.As an advocate that simplicity and theory be part of the scientific method, Rayleigh argued for the principle of similitude.
Rayleigh was elected Fellow of the Royal Society on 12 June 1873, and served as president of the Royal Society from 1905 to 1908. From time to time Rayleigh participated in the House of Lords; however, he spoke up only if politics attempted to become involved in science.
He died on 30 June 1919, at his home in Witham, Essex.He was succeeded, as the 4th Lord Rayleigh, by his son Robert John Strutt, another well-known physicist. Lord Rayleigh was buried in the graveyard of All Saints' Church in Terling in Essex.
Rayleigh was an Anglican. Though he did not write about the relationship of science and religion, he retained a personal interest in spiritual matters.When his scientific papers were to be published in a collection by the Cambridge University Press, Strutt wanted to include a religious quotation from the Bible, but he was discouraged from doing so, as he later reported:
When I was bringing out my Scientific Papers I proposed a motto from the Psalms, "The Works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein." The Secretary to the Press suggested with many apologies that the reader might suppose that I was the Lord.
Still, he had his wish and the quotation was printed in the five-volume collection of scientific papers. In a letter to a family member, he wrote about his rejection of materialism and spoke of Jesus Christ as a moral teacher:
I have never thought the materialist view possible, and I look to a power beyond what we see, and to a life in which we may at least hope to take part. What is more, I think that Christ and indeed other spiritually gifted men see further and truer than I do, and I wish to follow them as far as I can.
He held an interest in parapsychology and was an early member of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). He was not convinced of spiritualism but remained open to the possibility of supernatural phenomena.Rayleigh was the president of the SPR in 1919. He gave a presidential address in the year of his death but did not come to any definite conclusions.
The lunar crater Rayleigh as well as the Martian crater Rayleigh were named in his honour.The asteroid 22740 Rayleigh was named after him on 1 June 2007. A type of surface waves are known as Rayleigh waves. The rayl, a unit of specific acoustic impedance, is also named for him. Rayleigh was also awarded with (in chronological order):
Lord Rayleigh was among the original recipients of the Order of Merit (OM) in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902,and received the order from King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 8 August 1902.
He received the degree of Doctor mathematicae (honoris causa) from the Royal Frederick University on 6 September 1902, when they celebrated the centennial of the birth of mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.
Sir William Ramsay, his co-worker in the investigation to discover Argon described Rayleigh as "the greatest man alive" while speaking to Lady Ramsay during his last illness.
H. M. Hyndman said of Rayleigh that "no man ever showed less consciousness of great genius".
Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac was an English theoretical physicist who is regarded as one of the most significant physicists of the 20th century.
Rayleigh scattering, named after the nineteenth-century British physicist Lord Rayleigh, is the predominantly elastic scattering of light or other electromagnetic radiation by particles much smaller than the wavelength of the radiation. For light frequencies well below the resonance frequency of the scattering particle, the amount of scattering is inversely proportional to the fourth power of the wavelength.
Sir William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, was a British mathematical physicist and engineer who was born in Belfast in 1824. At the University of Glasgow he did important work in the mathematical analysis of electricity and formulation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics, and did much to unify the emerging discipline of physics in its modern form. He worked closely with mathematics professor Hugh Blackburn in his work. He also had a career as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor, which propelled him into the public eye and ensured his wealth, fame and honour. For his work on the transatlantic telegraph project he was knighted in 1866 by Queen Victoria, becoming Sir William Thomson. He had extensive maritime interests and was most noted for his work on the mariner's compass, which previously had limited reliability.
Sir William Ramsay was a Scottish chemist who discovered the noble gases and received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1904 "in recognition of his services in the discovery of the inert gaseous elements in air" along with his collaborator, John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, who received the Nobel Prize in Physics that same year for their discovery of argon. After the two men identified argon, Ramsay investigated other atmospheric gases. His work in isolating argon, helium, neon, krypton and xenon led to the development of a new section of the periodic table.
Henry Cavendish FRS was an English natural philosopher, scientist, and an important experimental and theoretical chemist and physicist. He is noted for his discovery of hydrogen, which he termed "inflammable air". He described the density of inflammable air, which formed water on combustion, in a 1766 paper, On Factitious Airs. Antoine Lavoisier later reproduced Cavendish's experiment and gave the element its name.
The Cavendish Laboratory is the Department of Physics at the University of Cambridge, and is part of the School of Physical Sciences. The laboratory was opened in 1874 on the New Museums Site as a laboratory for experimental physics and is named after the British chemist and physicist Henry Cavendish. The laboratory has had a huge influence on research in the disciplines of physics and biology.
Karl Pearson was an English mathematician and biostatistician. He has been credited with establishing the discipline of mathematical statistics. He founded the world's first university statistics department at University College, London in 1911, and contributed significantly to the field of biometrics and meteorology. Pearson was also a proponent of social Darwinism and eugenics. Pearson was a protégé and biographer of Sir Francis Galton. He edited and completed both William Kingdon Clifford's Common Sense of the Exact Sciences (1885) and Isaac Todhunter's History of the Theory of Elasticity, Vol. 1 (1886–1893) and Vol. 2 (1893), following their deaths.
Rev Dr William Whewell DD HFRSE was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. In his time as a student there, he achieved distinction in both poetry and mathematics.
Sir George Gabriel Stokes, 1st Baronet, was an Anglo-Irish physicist and mathematician. Born in County Sligo, Ireland, Stokes spent all of his career at the University of Cambridge, where he was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics from 1849 until his death in 1903. As a physicist, Stokes made seminal contributions to fluid mechanics, including the Navier–Stokes equations and to physical optics, with notable works on polarization and fluorescence. As a mathematician, he popularised "Stokes' theorem" in vector calculus and contributed to the theory of asymptotic expansions. Stokes, along with Felix Hoppe-Seyler, first demonstrated the oxygen transport function of hemoglobin and showed color changes produced by aeration of hemoglobin solutions.
Peter Guthrie Tait FRSE was a Scottish mathematical physicist and early pioneer in thermodynamics. He is best known for the mathematical physics textbook Treatise on Natural Philosophy, which he co-wrote with Kelvin, and his early investigations into knot theory.
The year 1871 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.
Baron Rayleigh is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The family seat is Terling Place, Essex.
Sir George Howard Darwin, was an English barrister and astronomer, the second son and fifth child of Charles Darwin and Emma Darwin.
John James Waterston was a Scottish physicist, a neglected pioneer of the kinetic theory of gases.
Sir Richard Tetley Glazebrook was an English physicist.
Edmund Taylor Whittaker FRS FRSE LLD was a British mathematician who contributed widely to applied mathematics, mathematical physics, and the theory of special functions. He had a particular interest in numerical analysis, but also worked on celestial mechanics, the history of physics, and digital signal processing. Near the end of his career he received the Copley Medal, the most prestigious honorary award in British science. The School of Mathematics of the University of Edinburgh holds The Whittaker Colloquium, a yearly lecture in his honour.
Agnes Luise Wilhelmine Pockels was a German pioneer in chemistry. Her work was fundamental in establishing the modern discipline known as surface science, which describes the properties of liquid and solid surfaces. Agnes got interested in these properties early on from washing dishes.
Robert John Strutt, 4th Baron Rayleigh FRS was a British peer and physicist. He discovered "active nitrogen" and was the first to distinguish the glow of the night sky.
Maxwell’s thermodynamic surface is an 1874 sculpture made by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879). This model provides a three-dimensional space of the various states of a fictitious substance with water-like properties. This plot has coordinates volume (x), entropy (y), and energy (z). It was based on the American scientist Josiah Willard Gibbs’ graphical thermodynamics papers of 1873. The model, in Maxwell's words, allowed "the principal features of known substances [to] be represented on a convenient scale."
Edward Gerald Strutt CH was a British agriculturist who played an important role in British food and agricultural planning during World War I, for which he received the Order of the Companions of Honour in 1917. As well as running his family's estates, advising on agriculture, and serving on various government committees, he co-founded the surveyors and land agents Strutt & Parker.
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John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh
The Lord Carlingford
| Lord Lieutenant of Essex |
The Earl of Warwick
The Duke of Devonshire
| Chancellor of the University of Cambridge |
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
| Baron Rayleigh |