Sir William Crookes
Sir William Crookes in 1906
|Born||17 June 1832|
London, England, UK
|Died||4 April 1919 86) (aged|
London, England, UK
|Alma mater||Royal College of Chemistry|
|Known for|| Thallium |
|Awards|| Royal Medal (1875)|
Davy Medal (1888)
Albert Medal (1899)
Copley Medal (1904)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1912)
|Influenced||J. K. F. Zöllner|
Sir William Crookes OM PRS ( // ; 17 June 1832 – 4 April 1919) was a British chemist and physicist who attended the Royal College of Chemistry in London, and worked on spectroscopy. He was a pioneer of vacuum tubes, inventing the Crookes tube which was made in 1875. In 1913, Crookes invented 100% ultraviolet blocking sunglass lens. Crookes was the inventor of the Crookes radiometer, which today is made and sold as a novelty item. Late in life, he became interested in spiritualism, and became the president of the Society for Psychical Research.
The English people are a nation and an ethnic group native to England who speak the English language. The English identity is of early medieval origin, when they were known in Old English as the Angelcynn. Their ethnonym is derived from the Angles, one of the Germanic peoples who migrated to Great Britain around the 5th century AD. England is one of the countries of the United Kingdom, and the majority of people living there are British citizens.
The Royal College of Chemistry (RCC) was a college originally based on Oxford Street in central London, England. It operated between 1845 and 1872.
Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation. Historically, spectroscopy originated through the study of visible light dispersed according to its wavelength, by a prism. Later the concept was expanded greatly to include any interaction with radiative energy as a function of its wavelength or frequency, predominantly in the electromagnetic spectrum, though matter waves and acoustic waves can also be considered forms of radiative energy; recently, with tremendous difficulty, even gravitational waves have been associated with a spectral signature in the context of LIGO and laser interferometry. Spectroscopic data are often represented by an emission spectrum, a plot of the response of interest as a function of wavelength or frequency.
Crookes made a career of being a meteorologist and fierce lecturer for multiple studies and courses. Crookes worked in chemistry and physics. His experiments were notable for the originality of their design. He executed them skillfully. His interests, ranging over pure and applied science, economic and practical problems, and psychiatric research, made him a well-known personality. He received many public and academic honours. Crookes's life was one of unbroken scientific activity.
William Crookes (later Sir William Crookes) was born in London in 1832, the eldest of 16 siblings. His father, Joseph Crookes, was a wealthy tailor and real estate investor, of north-country origin, at that time living with his second wife, Mary Scott Lewis Rutherford Johnson.
At age 16, he entered the Royal College of Chemistry to study organic chemistry. There, he became an assistant to August Wilhelm von Hofmann, allowng him to attend the Royal Institution, and at a meeting Crookes met Michael Faraday who convinced him switch to optical physics.
Michael Faraday FRS was a British scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.
From 1850 to 1854 he filled the position of assistant in the college, and soon embarked upon original work. It wasn't in organic chemistry which the focus of his teacher, August Wilhelm von Hofmann, might have been expected to lead him towards, but into new compounds of selenium. These were the subject of his first published papers, 1851. He worked with Manuel Johnson at the Radcliffe Observatory in Oxford in 1854, where he adapted the recent innovation of wax paper photography to machines built by Francis Ronalds to continuously record meteorological parameters.In 1855 he was appointed lecturer in chemistry at the Chester Diocesan Training College.
August Wilhelm von Hofmann was a German chemist who made considerable contributions to organic chemistry. His research on aniline helped lay the basis of the aniline-dye industry, and his research on coal tar laid the groundwork for his student Charles Mansfield's practical methods for extracting benzene and toluene and converting them into nitro compounds and amines. Hofmann's discoveries include formaldehyde, hydrazobenzene, the isonitriles, and allyl alcohol. He prepared three ethylamines and tetraethylammonium compounds and established their structural relationship to ammonia.
Selenium is a chemical element with symbol Se and atomic number 34. It is a nonmetal with properties that are intermediate between the elements above and below in the periodic table, sulfur and tellurium, and also has similarities to arsenic. It rarely occurs in its elemental state or as pure ore compounds in the Earth's crust. Selenium was discovered in 1817 by Jöns Jacob Berzelius, who noted the similarity of the new element to the previously discovered tellurium.
Manuel John Johnson, FRS was a British astronomer.
After his father's death he received a large inheritance and opened his own physics laboratory.
In 1856 he married Ellen, daughter of William Humphrey of Darlington.They had three sons and a daughter. Married and living in London, he was devoted mainly to independent work. In 1859, he founded the Chemical News , a science magazine which he edited for many years and conducted on much less formal lines than was usual for the journals of scientific societies.
In 1861, Crookes discovered a previously unknown element with a bright green emission line in its spectrum and named the element thallium, from the Greek thallos, a green shoot. Crookes wrote a standard treatise on Select Methods in Chemical Analysis in 1871. Crookes was effective in experimentation. The method of spectral analysis, introduced by Bunsen and Kirchhoff, was received by Crookes with great enthusiasm and to great effect. His first important discovery was that of the element thallium, announced in 1861, and made with the help of spectroscopy. By this work his reputation became firmly established, and he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1863.
He developed the Crookes tubes,investigating cathode rays. He published numerous papers on spectroscopy and conducted research on a variety of minor subjects. In his investigations of the conduction of electricity in low pressure gases, he discovered that as the pressure was lowered, the negative electrode (cathode) appeared to emit rays (the so-called "cathode rays", now known to be a stream of free electrons, and used in cathode ray display devices). As these examples indicate, he was a pioneer in the construction and use of vacuum tubes for the study of physical phenomena. He was, as a consequence, one of the first scientists to investigate what is now called a plasma and identified it as the fourth state of matter in 1879. He also devised one of the first instruments for studying nuclear radioactivity, the spinthariscope.
Crookes investigated the properties of cathode rays, showing that they travel in straight lines, cause fluorescence when they fall on some substances, and that their impact can produce great heat. He believed that he had discovered a fourth state of matter, which he called "radiant matter",but his theoretical views on the nature of "radiant matter" were to be superseded. He believed the rays to consist of streams of particles of ordinary molecular magnitude. It remained for Sir J. J. Thomson to expound on the subatomic nature of cathode rays (consisting of streams of negative electrons ). Nevertheless, Crookes's experimental work in this field was the foundation of discoveries which eventually changed the whole of chemistry and physics.
Crookes' attention had been attracted to the vacuum balance in the course of his research into thallium. He soon discovered the phenomenon which drives the movement in a Crookes radiometer, in which a set of vanes, each blackened on one side and polished on the other, rotate when exposed to radiant energy. Crookes did not, however, provide the true explanation of this apparent "attraction and repulsion resulting from radiation".
After 1880, he lived at 7 Kensington Park Gardens where all his later work was done, in his private laboratory.
Crookes identified the first known sample of helium, in 1895. Crookes was knighted in 1897.
In 1903, Crookes turned his attention to the newly discovered phenomenon of radioactivity, achieving the separation from uranium of its active transformation product, uranium-X (later established to be protactinium). Crookes observed the gradual decay of the separated transformation product, and the simultaneous reproduction of a fresh supply in the original uranium. At about the same time as this important discovery, he observed that when "p-particles", ejected from radio-active substances, impinge upon zinc sulfide, each impact is accompanied by a minute scintillation, an observation which forms the basis of one of the most useful methods in the technique of radioactivity.
In 1913, Crookes nm while darkening visual light. Crookes’ samples were made by Whitefriars, London, stained glass makers, and Chance Brothers, Birmingham.created a 100% ultraviolet and 90% infrared blocking lens made from glass containing cerium, but only lightly tinted. They were an unintended by-product of Crookes's research to find a lens glass formulation that would protect glass workers from cataracts. Crookes tested more than 300 formulations, each numbered and labelled. Crookes Glass 246 was the tint recommended for glassworkers. The best-known Crookes tints are A (withdrawn due to its uranium), A1, B, and B2, which absorb all ultraviolet below 350
Crookes became interested in spiritualism in the late 1860s. In this he was possibly influenced by the death of his younger brother Philip in 1867 at age 21 from yellow fever contracted while on an expedition to lay a telegraph cable from Cuba to Florida.In 1867, influenced by Cromwell Fleetwood Varley, Crookes attended a séance to try to get in touch with his brother.
Between 1871 and 1874, Crookes studied the mediums Kate Fox, Florence Cook, and Daniel Dunglas Home. After his investigation he believed that the mediums could produce genuine paranormal phenomena and communicate with spirits.Psychologists Leonard Zusne and Warren H. Jones have described Crookes as gullible as he endorsed fraudulent mediums as genuine.
The anthropologist Edward Clodd noted that Crookes had poor eyesight which may have explained his belief in spiritualist phenomena and quoted William Ramsay as saying Crookes is "so shortsighted that, despite his unquestioned honesty, he cannot be trusted in what he tells you he has seen."Biographer William Hodson Brock wrote that Crookes was "evidently short-sighted, but did not wear spectacles until the 1890s. Until then he may have used a monocle or pocket magnifying glass when necessary. What limitations this imposed upon his psychic investigations we can only imagine."
After studying the reports of Florence Cook, the science historian Sherrie Lynne Lyons wrote that the alleged spirit "Katie King" was Cook herself and at other times an accomplice. Regarding Crookes, Lyons wrote "Here was a man with a flawless scientific reputation, who discovered a new element, but could not detect a real live maiden who was masquerading as a ghost."Cook was repeatedly exposed as a fraudulent medium but she had been "trained in the arts of the séance" which managed to trick Crookes. Some researchers such as Trevor H. Hall suspected that Crookes had an affair with Cook.
In a series of experiments in London, England at the house of Crookes in February 1875, the medium Anna Eva Fay managed to fool Crookes into believing she had genuine psychic powers. Fay later confessed to her fraud and revealed the tricks she had used.Regarding Crookes and his experiments with mediums, the magician Harry Houdini suggested that Crookes had been deceived. The physicist Victor Stenger wrote that the experiments were poorly controlled and "his desire to believe blinded him to the chicanery of his psychic subjects."
In 1897, John Grier Hibben wrote that Crookes' idea of ether waves explaining telepathy was not a scientific hypothesis "he presents no facts to indicate its probability or to save it from being relegated to the sphere of bare conjecture."
In 1906, William Hope tricked Crookes with a fake spirit photograph of his wife. Oliver Lodge revealed there had been obvious signs of double exposure, the picture of Lady Crookes had been copied from a wedding anniversary photograph, however, Crookes was a convinced spiritualist and claimed it was genuine evidence for spirit photography.
The physiologist Gordon Stein suspected that Crookes was too ashamed to admit he had been duped by the medium Florence Cook or he conspired with her for sexual favors. He also suggested that Crookes had conspired with Anna Eva Fay. He noted that contrary to popular belief Home had been exposed as a fraud on several occasions. Stein concluded that all the feats of Home were conjuring tricks. In a review biographer William Brock wrote that Stein made his "case against Crookes and Home clearly and logically."
Crookes joined the Society for Psychical Research, becoming its president in the 1890s: he also joined the Theosophical Society and The Ghost Club,of which he was president from 1907 to 1912. In 1890 he was initiated into the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Spiritualism is a religious movement based on the belief that the spirits of the dead exist and have both the ability and the inclination to communicate with the living. The afterlife, or the "spirit world", is seen by spiritualists, not as a static place, but as one in which spirits continue to evolve. These two beliefs — that contact with spirits is possible, and that spirits are more advanced than humans — lead spiritualists to a third belief, that spirits are capable of providing useful knowledge about moral and ethical issues, as well as about the nature of God. Some spiritualists will speak of a concept which they refer to as "spirit guides"—specific spirits, often contacted, who are relied upon for spiritual guidance. Spiritism, a branch of spiritualism developed by Allan Kardec and today practiced mostly in Continental Europe and Latin America, especially in Brazil, emphasizes reincarnation.
A séance or seance is an attempt to communicate with spirits. The word "séance" comes from the French word for "session", from the Old French seoir, "to sit". In French, the word's meaning is quite general: one may, for example, speak of "une séance de cinéma". In English, however, the word came to be used specifically for a meeting of people who are gathered to receive messages from ghosts or to listen to a spirit medium discourse with or relay messages from spirits. In modern English usage, participants need not be seated while engaged in a séance.
The Spiritualist Association of Great Britain is a British spiritualist organisation. It was established in 1872.
In spiritualism, paranormal literature and some religions, materialization is the creation or appearance of matter from unknown sources. The existence of materialization has not been confirmed by laboratory experiments. Numerous cases of fraudulent materialization demonstrations by mediums have been exposed.
Daniel Dunglas Home was a Scottish physical medium with the reported ability to levitate to a variety of heights, speak with the dead, and to produce rapping and knocks in houses at will. His biographer Peter Lamont opines that he was one of the most famous men of his era. Harry Houdini described him as "one of the most conspicuous and lauded of his type and generation" and "the forerunner of the mediums whose forte is fleecing by presuming on the credulity of the public." Home conducted hundreds of séances, which were attended by many eminent Victorians.
Mediumship is the practice of purportedly mediating communication between spirits of the dead and living human beings. Practitioners are known as "mediums." There are different types of mediumship, including spirit channeling and ouija.
Katie King was the name given by Spiritualists in the 1870s to what they believed to be a materialized spirit. The question of whether the spirit was real or a fraud was a notable public controversy of the mid-1870s.
Florence Cook was a medium who claimed to materialise a spirit, "Katie King". The question of whether the spirit was real or a fraud was a notable public controversy of the mid-1870s. Her abilities were endorsed by Sir William Crookes but many observers were sceptical of Crookes's investigations, both at the time and subsequently.
William Hope was a pioneer of so-called "spirit photography". Based in Crewe, England, he was a member of the well known spiritualists group, the Crewe Circle. He died in Salford hospital on 8 March 1933.
The Ghost Club is a paranormal investigation and research organization, founded in London in 1862. It is widely believed to be the oldest such organization in the world. Since 1862 it has primarily investigated ghosts and hauntings.
William Stainton Moses (1839–1892) was an English cleric and spiritualist medium.
Trevor Henry Hall (1910–1991) was a British author, surveyor, and sceptic of paranormal phenomena. Hall made controversial claims regarding early members of the Society for Psychical Research. His books caused a heated controversy within the parapsychology community.
Gordon Stein was an American author, physiologist, and activist for atheism and religious skepticism.
William Eglinton (1857–1933), also known as William Eglington was a British spiritualist medium who was exposed as a fraud.
Eric John Dingwall (1890–1986) was a British anthropologist and psychical researcher.
Anna Eva Fay Pingree was a famous medium and stage mentalist of the twentieth century.
Charles Carleton Massey (1838-1905) most well known as C. C. Massey was a British barrister, Christian mystic and psychical researcher.
Vice admiral William Usborne Moore also known as W. Usborne Moore was a British naval commander, psychical researcher and spiritualist.
Desmond Gerald Fitzgerald (1834-1905) was an English electrician and spiritualist.
Alaric Alfred Watts most well known as A. A. Watts was a British government clerk, spiritualist and writer.
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