Thomas Preston (1860 in Kilmore, County Armagh – 1900) was an Irish scientist whose research was concerned with heat, magnetism, and spectroscopy. He established empirical rules for the analysis of spectral lines, which remain associated with his name. In 1897 he discovered the Anomalous Zeeman Effect, a phenomenon noted when the spectral lines of elements were studied in the presence or absence of a magnetic field. Preston reported, in an important paper published in The Scientific Transactions of The Royal Dublin Society, read on 22 December 1897, and published the following April, that he reported results more complicated than Zeeman had reported. Following this up further, he reported in a second paper in the RDS Scientific Transactions, read on 18 January 1899, and published the following June, that he had found results that were ’very startling’ and appeared ‘quite contrary to all theoretical explanations’. The full explanation had to wait for the theory of relativity and the introduction of quantum mechanics, which were to shake the rigid framework of Newtonian conceptions of absolute time and space. Preston’s results were an important step in this development.</ref>
Kilmore or Killmore is a small village, townland and civil parish in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. It lies 2.5 miles north of Richhill and within the Armagh City and District Council area. It had a population of 190 people in the 2011 Census.
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, and the twentieth-largest on Earth.
A scientist is someone who conducts scientific research to advance knowledge in an area of interest.
Preston was at the forefront of the Maxwellian research programme led by George Johnstone Stoney and George Francis FitzGerald. Preston famously tackled Stoney in what became a public dispute over a mathematical conclusion in this research programme which concerned electromagnetic and spectroscopic sciences. Stoney who is accredited with naming the electron was in opposition to Preston on this particular matter. John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh president of the Royal Dublin Society intervened in this argument in Prestons defence.
George Johnstone Stoney FRS was an Irish physicist. He is most famous for introducing the term electron as the "fundamental unit quantity of electricity".
Prof George Francis FitzGerald was an Irish professor of "natural and experimental philosophy" at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, during the last quarter of the 19th century. FitzGerald is known for his work in electromagnetic theory and for the Lorentz–FitzGerald contraction, which became an integral part of Einstein's special theory of relativity. A crater on the far side of the Moon is named for him, as is a building at Trinity College, Dublin.
The electron is a subatomic particle, symbol
, whose electric charge is negative one elementary charge. Electrons belong to the first generation of the lepton particle family, and are generally thought to be elementary particles because they have no known components or substructure. The electron has a mass that is approximately 1/1836 that of the proton. Quantum mechanical properties of the electron include an intrinsic angular momentum (spin) of a half-integer value, expressed in units of the reduced Planck constant, ħ. Being fermions, no two electrons can occupy the same quantum state, in accordance with the Pauli exclusion principle. Like all elementary particles, electrons exhibit properties of both particles and waves: they can collide with other particles and can be diffracted like light. The wave properties of electrons are easier to observe with experiments than those of other particles like neutrons and protons because electrons have a lower mass and hence a longer de Broglie wavelength for a given energy.
He was educated at The Royal School, Armagh, the Royal University of Ireland and Trinity College, Dublin. From 1891 to 1900 he was Professor of Natural Philosophy at University College Dublin. He was a Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland and of the Royal Society, London and was a distinguished spectroscopist.His two major textbooks remained in continuous use for over 50 years. He enrolled in Trinity College, Dublin, in 1881, working under the physicist George FitzGerald (known for his work in electromagnetics ) and graduated with a BA in mathematics in 1885. The previous year he had sat the Royal University of Ireland degree examinations which also earned him a BA from there with a first in mathematical science. He enrolled in Trinity College, Dublin, in 1881, and worked under the physicist George FitzGerald, known for his work in electromagnetics. While at University College Dublin, he wrote a book, The Theory of Light. In 1899 he won the second Boyle Medal presented by the Royal Dublin Society. He died at his home, Bardowie, Orwell Park, Rathgar, Dublin, on 7 March 1900 of a perforated ulcer just as he was reaching the height of his academic powers.
The Royal School, Armagh is a co-educational grammar school in the city of Armagh in Northern Ireland. Its headmaster, Mr Montgomery, is a member of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference HMC. The Royal School is a voluntary grammar school of ancient foundation. It has a boarding department with an international intake and is similar to the former English public schools of the Direct grant grammar school type. In December 2017, Mr Paul Crute left the school to found a new international school in Dublin.
The Royal University of Ireland was founded in accordance with the University Education (Ireland) Act 1879 as an examining and degree-awarding university based on the model of the University of London. A Royal Charter was issued on 27 April 1880 and examinations were opened to candidates irrespective of attendance at college lectures. The first chancellor was the Irish chemist Robert Kane.
University College Dublin is a research university in Dublin, Ireland, and a member institution of the National University of Ireland. It has over 1,482 academic staff and 32,000 students, and it is Ireland's largest university. UCD originates in a body founded in 1854, which opened as the Catholic University of Ireland on the Feast of Saint Malachy and with John Henry Newman as its first rector; it re-formed in 1880 and chartered in its own right in 1908. The Universities Act, 1997 renamed the constituent university as the "National University of Ireland, Dublin", and a ministerial order of 1998 renamed the institution as "University College Dublin – National University of Ireland, Dublin".
He was father to the physicist Prof George Dawson Preston FRSE (1896-1972).
Prof George Dawson Preston FRSE (1896–1972) was a 20th century British physicist specialising in crystallography and the structure of alloys. He was one of the first to use x-rays and electron diffraction to study the crystal structure of metals and alloys. Along with André Guinier, Preston gives his name to the Guinier-Preston zone, discovered in 1938.
Rev John Thomas Romney Robinson FRS FRSE DD DCL LLD, usually referred to as Thomas Romney Robinson, was a 19th-century astronomer and physicist. He was the longtime director of the Armagh Astronomical Observatory, one of the chief astronomical observatories in the UK of its time.
Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton was an Irish physicist and Nobel laureate for his work with John Cockcroft with "atom-smashing" experiments done at Cambridge University in the early 1930s, and so became the first person in history to split the atom.
Sir Joseph Larmor FRS FRSE DCL LLD was an Irish physicist and mathematician who made innovations in the understanding of electricity, dynamics, thermodynamics, and the electron theory of matter. His most influential work was Aether and Matter, a theoretical physics book published in 1900.
James MacCullagh was an Irish mathematician.
The Dublin Philosophical Society was founded in 1683 by William Molyneux with the assistance of his brother Sir Thomas Molyneux and later Provost St George Ashe. It was intended to be the equivalent of the Royal Society in London as well as the Philosophical Society at the University of Oxford. Whilst it had a sometimes close connection with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, its closest institutional connection was with Trinity College, Dublin.
Events from the year 1747 in Ireland.
Frederick Thomas Trouton FRS was an Irish physicist known for Trouton's rule and experiments to detect the Earth's motion through the luminiferous aether.
John Hewitt Jellett was an Irish mathematician whose career was spent at Trinity College Dublin (TCD), where he rose to the rank of Provost. He was also a priest in the Church of Ireland.
Sir Thomas Ranken Lyle FRS was an Irish-Australian mathematical physicist, radiologist, educator, and rugby player.
Brendan Kevin Patrick Scaife FTCD, MRIA, Boyle Laureate, is an Irish academic engineer and physicist who carried out pioneering work on the theory of dielectrics. Scaife founded the Dielectrics Group in Trinity College Dublin where he is Fellow Emeritus and formerly Professor of Electromagnetism, and previously to that a Professor of Engineering Science. Scaife showed that in a linear system the decay function is directly proportional to the autocorrelation function of the corresponding fluctuating macroscopic variable, and proved how the spectral density of the dipole moment fluctuations of a dielectric body could be calculated from the frequency dependence of the complex permittivity, ε(ω) = ε'(ω) – iε"(ω). It was independent of Ryogo Kubo who in 1957 developed the corresponding theory for magnetic materials. The work was published prior to the work of Robert Cole in 1965 which is often cited.
Hugh Hamilton was a mathematician, natural philosopher (scientist) and professor at Trinity College Dublin, and later a Church of Ireland bishop, Bishop of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh, and then Bishop of Ossory.
Bindon Blood Stoney FRS was an Irish engineer who also made some significant contributions to astronomy.
(Timothy) Trevor West was an Irish academic and politician.
Edith Anne Stoney was a physicist born in Dublin in an old-established Anglo-Irish scientific family. She is considered to be the first woman medical physicist.
Augustine FitzGerald, D.D. was Dean of Armagh from 1896 until his death.
George Minchin Minchin was an Irish mathematician and experimental physicist. He was a pioneer in the development of astronomical photometry: the first-ever celestial photometric measurements were made using photovoltaic cells that he developed for the purpose. He invented the absolute sine-electrometer and was a prolific author of mathematical and scientific textbooks and papers.
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