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the cambridge
dictionary of
second edition
the cambridge
dictionary of
second edition
David, Ian, John & Margaret Millar
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Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo

Cambridge University Press
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Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York
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© David Millar, Ian Millar, John Millar, Margaret Millar 1996, 2002

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List of Panels vi

About the Authors viii

Preface to the Second Edition ix

Preface to the First Edition x

Symbols and Conventions xi

A“Z Dictionary 1

Chronology 390

Nobel Prizewinners in Science 408

Winners of the Fields Medal
for Mathematics 412

Index 413


The exploration of space 13
Global warming 16
Napoleon and science 35
The entry of women into astronomy 61
The exploration of Australia 75
The history of astronomy 78
Telescopes 95
The history of nuclear and particle physics 107
Pheromones 116
The history of mathematics 121
The Darwin/Wedgwood/Galton relationships 135
Mnemonics 147
The geological timescale 148
Science and the First World War (1914“18) 153
The history of medicine 162
Scientific societies 180
The entry of women into medicine 192
The different forms of carbon 208
The quest for human origins 218
A history of agriculture in the developed world 224
Chaos 231
Superheavy chemical elements: a limit to the
periodic table? 239
Periodic table of the chemical elements 249
The history of genetics 251
AIDS and HIV 260
Long-range communication 262
Science and the Second World War (1939“45) 276
The history of the heat engine 278
A strange biochemical: nitric oxide 295
Antarctica: the continent for science 307
The entry of women into chemistry in Britain 329
The entry of women into the biological sciences 334

List of panels

The development of photography 342
The Internet and international scientific
collaboration 350
The origin of life on Earth: an unsolved problem 357
The development of the computer 363
Human inherited disease and the Human
Genome Project 368
The history of aeronautics 384

About the Authors

The authors share a common interest in science. Their individual scientific interests cover
astronomy, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, geophysics, mathematics, physics and
women in science, and between them they have authored over 90 research papers and five
books on scientific topics. As a family they have collaborated on several writing projects, of
which this is the latest.

David Millar has carried out research into John Millar graduated from Trinity College,
the flow of polar ice sheets at the Scott Polar Cambridge, has a doctorate in mathematics
Research Institute, Cambridge, and in Ant- from Imperial College, London, and is a
arctica. He has also written on a range of sci- Fellow of the Institution of Electrical
ence and technology topics, and edited a Engineers. Working for BP he developed
study of the politics of the Antarctic. His pro- new geophysical techniques and went on to
fessional career has been spent in the oil be managing director of a small company
industry, principally in the marketing of founded to develop these further. More
geoscience software. He lives in France. recently he has joined Innogy (a member of
the RWE Group).
Ian Millar is Professor Emeritus of Organic
Margaret Millar worked as a computor in
Chemistry and former Deputy Vice-Chan-
cellor of Keele University, and previously X-ray crystallography at the Cavendish
conducted research at McGill University, Laboratory, Cambridge, in the period when
Montreal, and the University of Cambridge, the work on the DNA double helix was being
mainly on the chemistry of the reactive conducted there. She worked in the Depart-
and toxic compounds of phosphorus and ments of Earth Science and Astronomy at
arsenic. His publications include The Organic Sheffield and Cambridge, and has a special
Chemistry of Nitrogen and Co-ordination interest in the women pioneers of science
Chemistry: Experimental Methods. and medicine.

Preface to the Second Edition

In preparing this new edition, we have been best-known work was undertaken, and scien-
concerned to update earlier material in the tists now living have assisted in this when
light of advances made since 1996, and to providing portraits. All other illustrations,
correct the happily few factual errors found excluding diagrams, were provided by
in the old edition. Biographies of over 100 Science Photo Library except where otherwise
further scientists have been included bring- credited. Best efforts have been made to locate
ing the total to nearly 1500 scientists from original copyright holders where possible.
40 countries, covering every continent. New We are hugely grateful for the help given
panels have been added to highlight some to us by colleagues at the University of Keele,
selected areas of rising interest. A major by Kevin Taylor and his fellow officers of
change is the inclusion of portraits of many Cambridge University Press, and by Sukie
scientists. Where possible we have used por- Hunter whose work on the first edition has
traits of people made at the age when their also improved its successor.

Preface to the First Edition

The central objective of The Cambridge telescopes, microscopes and spectroscopes in
Dictionary of Scientists is to survey the sciences various forms are notable examples. In some
through the lives of the men and women cases the discoverer is not known with any
whose efforts have shaped modern science. certainty and a sort of group awareness of an
Our focus is on chemical, physical, biological, idea or device occurred rather than an isolat-
earth and space science and also on the linked ed individual discovery. A related situation
areas of mathematics, medicine and tech- has increasingly been seen with large teams
nology. The major outlines of all these disci- working in high-cost ˜big science™ projects
plines had been drawn by early in the present whose success is collective rather than
century, but much of the work we describe individual.
has been done since then, with a large part of The foundation of this book lies with our
it developing at the interfaces between older Concise Dictionary of Scientists written for
subject areas; in this way newer areas such Chambers/Cambridge in 1989 and now out of
as computer science or molecular biology or print. The new book covers many more scien-
astronautics have been created relatively tists (some 1300 from 38 countries) and older
recently. entries have been revised, up-dated and
The people profiled in this book are fre- extended. In addition, 32 ˜panels™ give sum-
quently associated, often by name, with scien- marizing accounts of major areas and some
tific units, effects and laws or with chemical selected topics of current interest. In response
reactions, diseases and methods, and we have to increasing interest in women™s scientific
described these. Science before the First contributions some 70 pioneer women in
World War was dominated by the work of science have been added, with the story of their
northern European males. It is often assumed entry into the sciences described in panels.
that, apart from Marie Curie, there were no The sources of information have been too
women scientists, or women interested in sci- many and varied to be listed usefully in much
ence, in the 18th, 19th and even early 20th detail. Our interest in scientists™ lives and per-
centuries. The story of the struggle by women sonalities began partly with a study of auto-
to gain access to libraries, lectures, scientific biographical writing by scientists; there is
societies, education and careers in science more of this than might be expected, not only
perhaps needs to be told in more detail “ but as books but as articles, Nobel Prize lectures,
elsewhere. Here we have included an account and interviews by us or recorded in print or on
of the work and lives of those women who radio and TV. Living scientists have in many
cleared the path towards these objectives. The cases been able to check our accounts and we
scientific work of some was modest, but their are grateful to them for doing so. Many
pioneering was important. The contributions biographies have been studied; they exist in
of others were significant but, at a time when great profusion for the dozen or so best-
their exclusion from scientific societies and known scientists. The Dictionary of Scientific
similar opportunities for publication was con- Biography (editor-in-chief, C C Gillispie, pub-
ventional, their work was only acceptable lished by Charles Scribner™s Sons, New York,
with that of their fathers, brothers and 1970“80, 14 vols and two supplements) has
husbands. been much consulted, as have the Biographical
As well as ideas, certain devices have been Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, Notes and
the key to advance in many areas of science: Records of the Royal Society, and the Nobel Lectures.

Symbols and Conventions

Scientists™ biographical entries are given in sions have been made for those born within
alphabetical order of their surname. Where a the island of Ireland, whether officially
name is an English version, the other- ˜British™ or not. ˜Russian™ is used for those
language form is also given. Names with pre- born before 1917, and ˜Soviet™ for those born
fixes such as von and de are listed under the after. In the case of early scientists, ˜Greek™ is
prefix only where it is usual to do so in the per- used for those of Hellenic culture who wrote
son™s native country (or adopted country in in Greek, even when they lived in Sicily, Asia
the case of scientists who emigrated early in Minor or Egypt. ˜Arabic™ is used for writers in
life). Thus de Broglie (who was French) is listed Arabic in a similar situation. In giving nation-
under B, but de Moivre (who was British) is at alities we have taken note of where the scien-
D. Where there are multiple forenames, lesser- tist has lived and the nationalities s/he has
used ones are given in brackets. In the case of adopted. For example, Einstein was born in
married women, their single name is also Ulm, went to school in Munich, then dis-
given; where they have combined their mar- claimed his German citizenship and went to
ried and single surnames that form is shown college in Switzerland, where he worked until
(eg Maria Goeppert Mayer). However, if they he was over 50 before moving to the USA and
have continued to use their unmarried sur- becoming an American citizen 10 years later;
name in their work that form is given (eg he is described as German“ Swiss“US.
Marie Stopes). Where a person™s name has Pronunciations are given where they are
totally changed in adult life both the names difficult to predict from the spelling or where
are supplied (eg Hertha Ayrton, n©e (Phoebe) the reader might choose the wrong form.
Sarah Marks). In some cases the headword cov- They appear with stressed syllables in bold
ers a group (eg Bourbaki) or a family, connect- type. No stress is given for unstressed lan-
ed either through the generations (eg the guages such as French and Japanese. Dates for
Monros), through marriage (eg the Coris) or as all scientists mentioned are given where
siblings (eg the Wright brothers). In such cases available; dates of scientists before Christ (bc)
it is difficult, or not useful, to separate their are usually not precisely known, and the dates
work. Team work has become usual in the given are approximate. Where we describe a
20th-c, and where this is the case the work has scientist as being educated in a city, we mean
been described fully in one entry only, with at the university or college there. Prizes and
cross-reference to the principal co-workers, honours are not usually given, except for
who did not necessarily play a smaller part. Nobel Prizes and the Fields Medal.
Small capitals are used for a scientist who has The International System of Units (SI) is
his/her own entry, on first mention in another used; and for chemical names the form most
entry. used by chemists, which is not always the
People born in the British Isles have been IUPAC preferred name, is given. By the word
˜billion™ we mean 1000 million (109), not the
classed as ˜English™ or ˜Scottish™ if born before
older usage of 1012. Laws are expressed in their
1707, otherwise ˜British™ (the need to use the
term ˜Welsh™ did not arise). Individual deci- modern form.

Symbols and Conventions

The following symbols have been used:

c velocity of light in vacuum > is greater than
e unit of electrical charge ¤ is less than or equal to
g acceleration of free fall due to ≥ is greater than or equal to
gravity (in vacuum) ab a multiplied by b
h Planck constant a/b a divided by b
K thermodynamic temperature a raised to power n
unit (kelvin) i (“1)
kg kilogram (SI unit of mass) ‘ sum of the terms
km kilometre e base of Naperian logarithms, 2.71828
m metre (SI unit of length) ¦ (Euler™s number)
mi mile exp x
or ex
n neutron exponential of x
NA Avogadro constant
p proton Acronyms
p pressure ATP adenosine triphosphate
s second (SI unit of time) Caltech California Institute of Technology
t tonne (megagram, ie 1000 kg) CERN Organisation Europ©ene pour la
STP standard temperature and Recherche Nucl©aire
pressure: 298 K and 760 mmHg CNRS Centre National de la Recherche
T temperature (on absolute scale) Scientifique (France)
V volume ETH Eidgenössische Technische
AU astronomical unit of distance: Hochschule (Switz.)
the mean Earth“Sun distance HGP Human Genome Project
DNA deoxyribonucleic acid IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
RNA ribonucleic acid Change
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mathematical symbols MRC Medical Research Council (UK)
log logarithm to base 10 NASA National Aeronautics and Space
π pi: ratio of circumference to Administration (USA)
diameter of a circle NIH National Institutes of Health (USA)
= is equal to NMR nuclear magnetic resonance
≠ is not equal to OPEC Organization of Petroleum Exporting
≈ is approximately equal to Countries
< is less than UCLA University of California at Los Angeles

Abbe, Ernst [abuh] (1840“1905) German physicist Abel, Neils Henrik [ahbel] (1802“29) Norwegian
and developer of optical instruments. mathematician: pioneer of group theory; proved
Abbe was professor of physics and observatory that no algebraic solution of the general fifth-
director at Jena. He worked on optical theory and degree equation exists.
with Carl Zeiss (1816“88), an instrument maker, Abel was the son of a Lutheran minister. In 1821
and Otto Schott (1851“1935), a glass maker, was he went to Oslo to study at the university, but his
able to improve several devices. These include the father™s death forced him to give this up in order to
Abbe condenser for converging light on microscope support the large family of which he was the eldest;
specimens; the achromatic lens, which is free from he was extremely poor throughout his life. In 1825
colour distortion (1886); and the Abbe refractome- he visited Germany and France and with Leopold
ter. From 1888 he was the sole owner of the Zeiss Crelle (1780“1855) founded Crelle™s Journal in which
company, whose optical instruments were of the much of his work was published, since Abel could
highest standard. In 1893 he patented the now- not persuade the French Acad©mie des Sciences to
familiar prismatic binocular. do so. Having failed to find a university post in
Abegg, Richard [abeg] (1869“1910) German physi- Germany, and with his health failing due to tuber-
cal chemist. culosis, he returned to Norway, where he died
Abegg™s Rule (for which he is best remembered) shortly afterwards aged 26. Two days later a letter
states that each element has a positive valence and from Crelle announced that the professorship of
a negative valence, whose sum is 8. This idea mathematics at Berlin, one of the most prestigious
reflects in primitive form the ˜octet rule™, ie the posts in the world, had been awarded to him.
trend shown by most elements of the second and Despite his tragically early death Abel largely
third (short) periods to attain an outer octet of elec- founded the theory of groups, and in particular
trons, but even as a mnemonic it applies only to ele- commutative groups, which were later known as
ments of the fourth to seventh periodic groups. Abelian groups. He also showed that the general
Abel, Sir Frederick (Augustus) [aybel] (1827“ fifth-degree equation is not solvable algebraically
1902) British chemist: expert on military explosives. (ironically Gauss threw this proof away unread
An early pupil of Hofmann at the Royal College when Abel sent it to him). He revolutionized the
of Chemistry, he became chemist to the War important area of elliptic integrals with his theory
Department in 1854. He showed that guncotton of elliptic and transcendental functions, and
(obtained by nitrating cotton) could be made safe contributed to the theory of infinite series.
Adams, John Couch (1819“92) British astronomer:
by removing traces of acid, which, if not removed,
led to instability. In 1889 with Dewar he invented predicted existence of Neptune.
˜cordite™, a mixture of guncotton and nitroglycerin As the son of a tenant farmer, Adams had financial
gelatinized with propanone and petroleum jelly, problems in entering Cambridge, but his career was
which became the standard British military propel- successful and he remained there throughout his life.
lant. It produces little smoke on firing, an impor- By 1820 it had become apparent to astronomers
tant advantage on a battlefield. that the motion of Uranus could not be explained by
Abel, John Jacob [aybel] (1857“1938) US bio- Newton™s law of gravitation and the influence of
chemist: detected adrenalin, and crystallized the known planets alone, since a small but increas-
insulin; isolated amino acids from blood. ing perturbation in its orbit had been observed.
An Ohio farmer™s son, Abel studied very widely While still an undergraduate, Adams proved that
in Europe before returning to Johns Hopkins the deviation had to be due to the influence of an
University equipped with a wide knowledge of eighth, undiscovered, planet. He sent his prediction
chemistry, biology and medicine, as professor of for its position to Airy, the Astronomer Royal, who
pharmacology. He studied the adrenal hormone was sceptical of its value and ignored it. Only when
now known as adrenalin (epinephrine); and in 1926 Leverrier, in France, announced similar results 9
first crystallized insulin and showed it was a protein months later did Airy initiate a search by James
and contained zinc. He was the first to isolate amino Challis (1803“82) at the Cambridge Observatory,
acids from blood, in 1914. He did this by passing based on Adams™s prediction. The planet, now
blood from an artery through a cellophane tube named Neptune, was however found first by Johann
immersed in saline; the amino acids dialysed Galle (1812“1910) in Berlin in 1846, using Leverrier™s
through the tube and the blood was returned to a figures. A bitter controversy about the credit for the
vein of the animal. The proof that amino acids are prediction soon developed. Adams™s precedence was
present in blood is fundamental in animal bio- eventually recognized, despite his taking no part in
chemistry and the method used led the way towards the debate. He turned down the subsequent offers of
dialysis in the treatment of kidney disease. a knighthood and the post of Astronomer Royal.
Adams, Walter Sydney

Adams, Walter Sydney (1876“1956) US astronomer: thermionic diode amplifiers to reliably record
discovered first white dwarf star. nerve impulses in a single nerve fibre, and to show
Adams was born in Syria, where his American par- that they do not change with the nature or strength
ents were missionaries, but he returned with them of the stimulus, confirming work by his friend K
when he was 9 and was educated in the USA and in Lewis (1881“1945) in 1905 on this ˜all or none™ law.
Europe. He went on to show that a nerve transmits infor-
Adams™s work was principally concerned with the mation to the brain on the intensity of a stimulus
spectroscopic study of stars. He showed how dwarf by frequency modulation, ie as the intensity rises
and giant stars could be distinguished by their spec- the number of discharges per second (perhaps
tra, and established the technique of spectroscopic 10“50) in the nerve also rises “ a fundamental dis-
parallax to deduce a star™s distance. In 1915 he covery. He then worked on the brain, using the
observed the spectrum of Sirius B, the faint compan- discovery by Berger in 1924 that electrical ˜brain-
ion of Sirius, and discovered it to be an exceptionally waves™ can be detected.
hot star. Since it is only 8 light years distant he real- From 1934 he studied these brainwave rhythms,
ized that it must therefore be very small (otherwise it which result from the discharge of thousands of
would be brighter), and hence of very high density. neurones and which can be displayed as an elec-
Sirius B proved to be a ˜white dwarf™ and the first of a troencephalogram (EEG). Within a few years the
new class of stellar objects; such stars are the final method was widely used to diagnose epilepsy cases,
stage in the evolution of stars of similar mass to the and later to locate lesions, eg those due to tumours
Sun, which have collapsed to form extremely dense or injury.
objects. Adrian was linked with Trinity College Cambridge
Adams also searched for the relativistic spectral for nearly 70 years and did much to advance neuro-
shift expected from a heavy star™s presumed intense physiology. He was a very popular figure; as a stu-
gravitational field. This he succeeded in finding in dent he was a skilful night roof-climber and an
1924, thereby proving his hypothesis about the excellent fencer, and he sailed and rock-climbed
nature of Sirius B and strengthening the case for until late in life. He helped to organize a famous
Einstein™s general relativity theory as well. Adams hoax exhibition of modern pictures in 1913. He was
spent most of his working life at the Mount Wilson never solemn, moved very quickly and claimed his
Observatory in southern California, and was its own brainwaves were as rapid as a rabbit™s; as a
director from 1923 until 1946. motorist his quick reflexes alarmed his passengers.
Addison, Thomas (1793“1860) British physician: a When in a hurry he would use a bicycle in the long
founder of endocrinology. dark basement corridors of the Physiological
A graduate in medicine from Edinburgh and Laboratory. He shared a Nobel Prize in 1932.
Agassiz, Jean Louis Rodolphe [agasee] (1807“73)
London, his early work included the first clear
descriptions of appendicitis, lobar pneumonia and Swiss“US naturalist and glaciologist: proposed
the action of poisons on the living body. In 1855 his former existence of an Ice Age.
small book On the Constitutional and Local Effects of Agassiz owed much of his scientific distinction to
Disease of the Supra-renal Capsules described two new the chance of his birth in Switzerland. He studied
diseases: one is ˜pernicious™ anaemia; the other, medicine in Germany, but zoology was his keen
also an anaemia, is associated with bronzing of the interest. He studied under Cuvier in Paris and then
skin and weakness, and is known as Addison™s dis- returned home and worked with enthusiasm on
ease. He found that cases of the latter showed post- fossil fishes, becoming the world expert on them
mortem changes in the suprarenal capsules (one on (his book describes over 1700 ancient species of fish).
top of each kidney). Later, physiological studies by Holidaying in his native Alps in 1836 and 1837, he
others showed that the suprarenal capsules are formed the novel idea that glaciers are not static,
glands, now known as the adrenal glands, which but move. He found a hut on a glacier which had
produce a complex group of hormones. Addison™s moved a mile over 12 years; he then drove a straight
disease was the first to be correctly attributed to line of stakes across a glacier, and found they
endocrine failure (ie disorder of the ductless glands moved within a year. Finding rocks which had been
of internal secretion). moved or scoured, apparently by glaciers, he con-
Adrian, Edgar Douglas, Baron Adrian (1889“ cluded that in the past, much of Northern Europe
1977) British neurophysiologist: showed frequency had been ice-covered. He postulated an ˜Ice Age™ in
code in nerve transmission. which major ice sheets had formed, moved and
Adrian began his research in physiology in were now absent in some areas “ a form of cata-
Cambridge before the First World War, but in 1914 strophism, in contrast to the extreme uniformitar-
he speedily qualified in medicine and tried to get ianism of Lyell. We now know that a series of ice
to France. In fact he was kept in England working ages has occurred.
on war injuries and his later work was a mixture In 1846 Agassiz was invited to the USA to lecture,
of ˜pure™ research and applications to medical enjoyed it and stayed to work at Harvard. He found
treatment. evidence of past glaciation in North America; it too
In the 1920s he began his best-known work. had undergone an Ice Age. His studies on fossil ani-
Already, crude methods were available for detec- mals could have been used to support Darwin™s
ting electrical activity in nerve fibres. Adrian used ideas on evolution, but in fact Agassiz was America™s
Alembert, Jean le Rond d™

main opponent to Darwin™s view that species had acted as blocks of differing thickness floating in
evolved. hydrostatic equilibrium in a fluid mantle, rather
Agnesi, Maria Gaetana [anyayzee] (1718“99) like icebergs in the sea. He was thus able to explain
Italian mathematician and scholar: remembered in gravitational anomalies that had been observed in
the naming of the cubic curve ˜the Witch of Agnesi™. the Himalayas as due to the partial counteraction
Born in Milan, Maria was one of the 24 children of of the gravitational attraction of the topography
a professor of mathematics at the University of above sea level with that of a deep ˜root™ extending
Bologna. With his encouragement she spoke seven into the mantle. His model of isostasy satisfactorily
languages by the age of 11, and by the age of 14 she explains the gravity field observed over mountainous
was solving problems in ballistics and geometry. terrain in much of the world.
Her interests covered logic, physics, mineralogy, Airy was arrogant and unlucky in his failings, now
chemistry, botany, zoology and ontology; her almost better known than his successes. He failed
father arranged her public debates. From this time to exploit Adams™s prediction of a new planet,
she suffered a recurring illness in which convul- Neptune; he was against Faraday™s idea of ˜lines of
sions and headaches were symptoms. Her father force™ (a fruitful intuition, in fact); and although he
agreed that she should in future lead a quiet life expended great effort to ensure precise measure-
free from social obligations. Maria thereafter de- ments of the transits of Venus, observed in 1874 and
voted herself to the study of new mathematical 1882, the results failed to give accurate measure-
ideas. Her Instituzioni analitiche ad uso della gioventù ments of the scale of the solar system because Venus™s
(1748, Analytical Institutions) was published as a atmosphere makes the timing of its apparent contact
teaching manual. In 1750, she was appointed to the with the Sun™s disc uncertain. An ingenious inventor
chair of mathematics and philosophy at Bologna. of laboratory devices, he was remarkably precise, to
Maria Agnesi™s work was one of promise rather the extent of labelling empty boxes ˜empty™.
Alembert, Jean le Rond d™ [dalãbair] (1717“83)
than fulfilment: she made no original discoveries
and her major work was written as a guide to French mathematician: discovered d™Alembert™s
students. The cubic curve named the Witch of principle in mechanics.
Agnesi was formulated by Fermat. A mistranslation D™Alembert™s forename comes from that of the
caused the use of ˜witch™ for ˜curve™. church, St Jean le Rond, on whose steps he was
Agricola, Georgius (Lat), Georg Bauer (Ger) found as a baby. He was probably the illegitimate
[agrikola] (1494“1555) German mineralogist, geolo- son of a Parisian society hostess, Mme de Tenzin,
gist and metallurgist: described mining and metal- and the chevalier Destouches; the latter paid for his
lurgical industries of 16th-c. education while he was brought up by a glazier and
Born in Saxony, Agricola trained in medicine in his wife. He studied law, and was called to the bar
Leipzig and in Italy. The link between medicine and in 1738, but then flirted briefly with medicine
minerals led to his interest in the latter, and his before choosing to study mathematics and to live
work as a physician in Saxony put him in ideal on his father™s annuity.
places to develop this interest and to extend it to Early research by d™Alembert clarified the concept
mining and metal extraction by smelting, and of a limit in the calculus and introduced the idea of
related chemical processes. His book De natura fos- different orders of infinities. In 1741 he was admitted
silium (1546, On the Nature of Fossils) classifies min- to the Acad©mie des Sciences and 2 years later pub-
erals in perhaps the first comprehensive system. lished his Trait© de dynamique (Treatise on Dynamics),
Later he wrote on the origin of rocks, mountains which includes d™Alembert™s principle, that
and volcanoes. His best-known book, De re metallica Newton™s Third Law of Motion holds not only for
(1556, On the Subject of Metals) is a fine illustrated fixed bodies but also for those free to move. A wide
survey of the mining, smelting and chemical tech- variety of new problems could now be treated, such
nology of the time. An English edition (1912) was as the derivation of the planar motion of a fluid. He
prepared by the American mining engineer H C developed the theory of partial differential equations
Hoover (who became president of the USA, and solved such systems as a vibrating string and the
1929“33) and his wife. general wave equation (1747). He joined Euler, A I
Airy, Sir George Biddell [ayree] (1801“92) British Clairault (1713“65), Lagrange and Laplace in apply-
geophysicist and astronomer: proposed model of ing calculus to celestial mechanics and determined
isostasy to explain gravitational anomalies. the motion of three mutually gravitating bodies. This
Airy was successful early in life, his talent and then allowed many of the celestial observations to be
energy leading to his appointment as Astronomer understood; for example, d™Alembert explained
Royal in 1835, a post he held for 46 years. He much mathematically (1754) Newton™s discovery of preces-
extended and improved the astronomical measure- sion of the equinoxes, and also the perturbations in
ments made in Britain. Airy™s researches were in the orbits of the planets.
the fields of both optics and geophysics. He experi- D™Alembert was then persuaded by his friend,
mented with cylindrical lenses to correct astigma- Denis Diderot (1713“84), to participate in writing
tism (a condition he suffered from himself); and he his encyclopedia, contributing on scientific topics.
studied the Airy discs in the diffraction pattern of a This project was denounced by the Church after
point source of light. one volume, and d™Alembert turned instead to pub-
In geophysics he proposed that mountain ranges lishing eight volumes of abstruse mathematical
Alferov, Zhores

studies. Shortly before his death J H Lambert (1728“ only the difficulties, and on his return he realized
77) wished to name his ˜newly discovered moon of that the caliph would probably ensure an unpleas-
Venus™ after d™Alembert, but the latter was suffi- ant death for him. To avoid this, he pretended to be
ciently acute to doubt (correctly) from calculations mad, and maintained this successfully until the
that it existed, and gently declined the offer. caliph died in 1021. Alhazen then considered study-
Alferov, Zhores (1930“ ) Russian physicist: devised ing religion, before turning fully to physics in
improved transistors, and semiconductor lasers. middle age. His mathematical and experimental
Alferov and Herbert Kroemer (1928“ ) were approach is the high point of Islamic physics, and
jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 2000, his work in optics was not surpassed for 500 years.
Al-Khwarizmi [al-khwahrizmee] (c.800“c.850) Persian
together with KILBY. Alferov was born in Belorussia
in 1930, graduating from the Electrotechnical mathematician: introduced modern number
Institute in Leningrad in 1952. Kroemer obtained notation.
his doctorate in theoretical physics from Göttingen Little is known of al-Khwarizmi™s life; he was a
in the same year, and five years later he was member of the Baghdad Academy of Science and
employed by RCA in New Jersey. Both men were wrote on mathematics, astronomy and geography.
interested in semiconductor heterostructures. His book Algebra introduced that name, although
These used sandwiches (stacked layers) of different much of the book deals with calculations. However,
semiconductors, such as arsenides, giving a smaller he gives a general method (al-Khwarizmi™s solution)
band gap than in conventional semiconductors. for finding the two roots of a quadratic equation
ax2 + bx + c = 0 (where a ≠ 0);
Kroemer showed that the reduced band gap makes
for a smaller energy barrier for electrons in tran- he showed that the roots are
x1 = [“ b + (b2 “ 4ac) ]/2a
sistors made of these materials, allowing higher
and x2 = [“ b “ (b2 “ 4ac) ]/2a
gain and speed. Then in 1963 both he and Alferov
independently suggested building semiconductor In his book Calculation with the Hindu Numerals he
lasers using heterostructures. Alferov designed, described the Hindu notation (misnamed ˜Arabic™
patented and built the first such laser able to work numerals) in which the digits depend on their posi-
at room temperature, by using gallium arsenide tion for their value and include zero. The term
and aluminium arsenide. Thereafter commercial ˜algorithm™ (a rule of calculation) is said to be
applications took off rapidly, and it became a key named after him. The notation (which came into
element of the current information revolution. The Europe in a Latin translation after 1240) is of huge
lasers are used in CD players, laser printers and practical value and its adoption is one of the great
fibre optic communications. steps in mathematics. The 10 symbols (1“9 and 0)
Alfv©n, Hannes Olof Gösta [alfvayn] (1908“95) had almost their present shape by the 14th-c, in
Swedish theoretical physicist: pioneer of plasma surviving manuscripts.
Allen, James (Alfred) Van see Van Allen
Alpher, Ralph Asher (1921“ ) US physicist: (with
Educated at Uppsala, Alfv©n worked in Sweden
until 1967, when he moved to California. Much of Robert Herman) predicted microwave background
his work was on plasmas (gases containing positive radiation in space; and synthesis of elements in
and negative ions) and their behaviour in magnetic early universe.
and electric fields. In 1942 he predicted magneto-
hydrodynamic waves in plasmas (Alfv©n waves)
which were later observed. His ideas have been
applied to plasmas in stars and to experimental
nuclear fusion reactors. He shared a Nobel Prize in
1970 for his pioneering theoretical work on mag-
Alhazen, Abu al-Hassan ibn al Haytham (Arabic)
[alhazen] (c.965“1038) Egyptian physicist: made
major advances in optics.
Alhazen rejected the older idea that light was
emitted by the eye, and took the view that light was
emitted from self-luminous sources, was reflected
and refracted and was perceived by the eye. His
book The Treasury of Optics (first published in Latin in
1572) discusses lenses (including that of the eye),
plane and curved mirrors, colours and the camera
obscura (pinhole camera).
His career in Cairo was nearly disastrous. Born in
Basra (now in Iraq), he saw in Cairo the annual flood-
ing of the Nile and persuaded the caliph al-Hakim to
sponsor an expedition to southern Egypt with the
object of controlling the river and providing an irri-
gation scheme. Alhazen™s expedition showed him Ralph A Alpher
Alvarez, Luis

A civilian physicist in the Second World War, but spent summer holidays sailing in the Lake
Alpher afterwards worked in US universities and in District with his sisters. Here the family met Arthur
industry. He is best known for his theoretical work Ransome (1884“1967) and became the model for his
concerning the origin and evolution of the universe. Swallows and Amazons children™s books. Roger™s
In 1948, Alpher, together with Bethe and Gamow, asthma, however, was fact as well as fiction. He
suggested for the first time the possibility of explain- studied medicine, and practised it at the Armenian
ing the abundances of the chemical elements as the Hospital in Aleppo run by his father and grandfa-
result of thermonuclear processes in the early ther. In 1956 he returned to England and joined a
stages of a hot, evolving universe. This work pharmaceutical company. He was concerned that
became known as the ˜alpha, beta, gamma™ theory. asthma was not taken seriously and determined to
As further developed in a number of collaborative find a cure. For the next 10 years he worked in his
papers with R Herman (1914“97) over the years, and own time testing compounds on himself, inducing
in another important paper with Herman and J W asthma attacks two or three times a week with a
Follin Jr, this concept of cosmological element syn- brew of guinea pig hair, to which he was allergic,
thesis has become an integral part of the standard almost certainly to the detriment of his own health.
˜Big Bang™ model of the universe, particularly as it Compound 670, sodium cromoglycate, has been
explains the universal abundance of helium. The much used to prevent attacks of allergic asthma
successful explanation of helium abundance is and rhinitis. The Spinhaler device he invented to
regarded as major evidence of the validity of the inhale the drug was based on aircraft propellers; he
model. While this early work on forming the ele- had been a pilot and flying instructor during the
ments has been superseded by later detailed stud- war.
Alvarez, Luis (Walter) [alvahrez] (1911“88) US
ies involving better nuclear reaction data, the ideas
had a profound effect on later developments. physicist: developed the bubble-chamber technique
Again in 1948, Alpher and Herman suggested that in particle physics.
if the universe began with a ˜hot Big Bang™, then the Alvarez was a student under Compton, and then
early universe was dominated by intense electro- joined Lawrence at the University of California at
magnetic radiation, which would gradually have Berkeley in 1936. He remained there, becoming
˜cooled™ (or red-shifted) as the universe expanded, professor of physics in 1945.
and today this radiation should be observed as Alvarez was an unusually prolific and diverse
having a spectral distribution characteristic of a physicist. He discovered the phenomenon of orbital
black body at a temperature of about 5 K (based on electron capture, whereby an atomic nucleus ˜cap-
then-current astronomical data). At that time radio tures™ an orbiting electron, resulting in a nuclide
astronomy was not thought capable of detecting with a lower proton number. In 1939, together with
such weak radiation. It was not until 1964 that Bloch, he made the first measurement of the mag-
Penzias and R W Wilson finally observed the back- netic moment of a neutron. During the Second
ground radiation. It was realized later that evi- World War he worked on radar, developing such
dence for this radiation had been available in 1942 devices as microwave navigation beacons and radar
in the form of observed temperatures of certain landing approach systems for aircraft, and also
interstellar molecules. The existence of this back- worked on the American atomic bomb project. In
ground radiation (current observed value 2.73 K), 1947 he built the first proton linear accelerator,
whose peak intensity is in the microwave region of and later developed the bubble-chamber technique
the spectrum, is widely regarded as a major cosmo- for detecting charged subatomic particles, which in
logical discovery and strong evidence for the valid- turn led to a great increase in the number of known
ity of the ˜Big Bang™ model, to which Alpher, particles. For this he received the Nobel Prize for
Gamow and Herman contributed the pioneering physics in 1968.
ideas. He was ingenious in the application of physics to
Alter, David (1807“81) US physicist: contributed to a variety of problems. He used the X-ray component
spectral analysis. of natural cosmic radiation to show that Chephren™s
A physician and inventor as well as a physicist, pyramid in Egypt had no undiscovered chambers
Alter was one of the earliest investigators of the within it; and he used physics applied to the
spectrum. In 1854 he showed that each element Kennedy assassination evidence to confirm that
had its own spectrum, conclusively proved a few only one killer was involved. With his son Walter
years later by Bunsen and Kirchhoff in their pio- (1940“ ), a geologist, he studied the problem of
neer research on the Fraunhofer lines. He also the catastrophe of 65 000 000 years ago which killed
forecast the use of the spectroscope in astronomy. the dinosaurs and other fossil species; they con-
Altounyan, Roger (Ernest Collingwood) cluded from tracer analysis that a probable cause
[altoonyan] (1922“87) British medical pioneer; was Earth™s impact with an asteroid or comet,
introducer of the anti-asthma drug sodium cromo- resulting in huge fires and/or screening of the Sun
glycate. by dust. His interest in optical devices led him to
Of Irish“Armenian and English parentage, he was found two companies; one to make variable focus
also the grandson of W G Collingwood (1854“1932), spectacle lenses, devised by him to replace his bifo-
the friend and biographer of John Ruskin cals; the other to make an optical stabilizer, which
(1819“1900). Roger Altounyan was born in Syria, he invented to avoid shake in his cine camera and
Amici, Giovan Battista

in binoculars. He was an engaging and popular
Amici, Giovan Battista [ameechee] (1786“
1868) Italian microscopist: improved the com-
pound microscope.
Amici trained as an engineer and architect in
Bologna; he became a teacher of mathematics but
was soon invited to Florence to head the observa-
tory and science museums there. His interest from
his youth was in optical instruments, especially
microscopes. At that time compound microscopes
were inferior to simple types, partly because of
aberrations and also because of the false idea that
enlargement was the dominant target of design.
Amici devised in 1818 a catadioptric (mirror) design
that was free of chromatic aberration and used it to
observe the circulation of protoplasm in Chara cells;
at once he became distinguished as an optician and
as a biologist. By 1837 he had a design with a resolv-
ing power of 0.001 mm and a numerical aperture of
0.4 that was able to magnify 6000 times. His objec-
tives had up to six elements; he invented the tech-
nique of immersion microscopy, using oil.
He also much improved telescopes, but his main
interest remained in biology, where he made the
notable discovery of the fertilization of phanero- A M Ampère
gams, observing in 1821 the travel of the pollen
tube through the pistil of the flower. inspector-general of the university system by
Amontons, Guillaume [amµtµ] (1663“1705) French Napoleon, a post he retained until his death.
physicist: discovered interdependence of tempera- Ampère was a versatile scientist, interested in
ture and pressure of gases. physics, philosophy, psychology and chemistry,
In his teens Amontons became deaf, and his inter- and made discoveries in this last field that would
est in mechanics seems then to have begun. He later have been important had he not been unfortunate
improved the design of several instruments, in being pre-empted by others on several occasions.
notably the hygrometer, the barometer and the In 1820 he was stimulated by Oersted™s discovery,
constant-volume air thermometer. In 1699 he dis- that an electric current generates a magnetic field,
covered that equal changes in the temperature of a to carry out pioneering work on electric current
fixed volume of air resulted in equal variations in and electrodynamics. Within months he had made
pressure, and in 1703 seemed near to suggesting a number of important discoveries: he showed that
that at a sufficiently low temperature the pressure two parallel wires carrying currents flowing in the
would become zero. Unfortunately his results were same direction attracted one another while when
ignored and it was almost a century later before the currents ran in opposite directions they were
Charles rediscovered the relationship. His work on repelled; he invented the coiled wire solenoid; and
the thermal expansion of mercury, however, con- he realized that the degree of deflection of Oersted™s
tributed to the invention of the mercury ther- compass needle by a current could be used as a
mometer by Fahrenheit. measure of the strength of the current, the basis of
Ampère, Andr© Marie [ãpair] (1775“1836) French the galvanometer. Perhaps his most outstanding
physicist and mathematician: pioneer of electro- contribution, however, came in 1827, when he
dynamics. provided a mathematical formulation of electro-
Ampère was a very gifted child, combining a pas- magnetism, notably Ampère™s Law, which relates
sion for reading with a photographic memory and the magnetic force between two wires to the prod-
linguistic and mathematical ability. He was largely uct of the currents flowing in them and the inverse
self-taught. His life was disrupted by the French square of the distance between them. It may be gen-
Revolution when, in 1793, his father, a Justice of eralized to describe the magnetic force generated at
the Peace, was guillotined along with 1500 fellow any point in space by a current flowing along a con-
citizens in Lyon. For a year Ampère seems to have ductor. The SI unit of electric current, the ampere
suffered a state of shock; he was aged 18. Ten years (sometimes abbreviated to amp) is named in his
later, his adored young wife died following the honour. The ampere is defined as that steady cur-
birth of his son. His second marriage, undertaken rent which, when it is flowing in each of two infi-
on the advice of friends, was a disaster. His profes- nitely long, straight, parallel conductors that have
sional life ran more smoothly. negligible areas of cross-section and are 1 metre
In 1802 Ampère was appointed to the first of a apart in a vacuum, causes each conductor to exert a
force of 2 — 10 “7 N on each metre of the other.
series of professorships, and in 1808 was appointed
Anderson, Elizabeth

Anaximander (of Miletus) [anaksimander] Elizabeth Garrett was born in London, where her
(611“547 bc) Ionian (Greek) natural philosopher: father had a pawnbroker™s shop. He later built an
suggested Earth was a curved body in space. expanding business malting grain at Snape in
A pupil of Thales, Anaximander™s writings are Suffolk. Educated by a governess at home, followed
now lost, but he is credited with a variety of novel by boarding school in London, she settled to the
ideas. He was the first Greek to use a sundial (long duties of daughter at home, helping to run the large
known in the Middle East), and with it found the household. She joined the Society for Promoting
dates of the two solstices (shortest and longest days) the Employment of Women, whose aim was to
and of the equinoxes (the two annual occasions improve the status of women through education
when day and night are equal). He speculated on and employment. Elizabeth Blackwell, the first
the nature of the heavens and on the origin of the woman to graduate in medicine in America (1849)
Earth and of man. Realizing that the Earth™s surface gave a lecture on ˜Young Women Desirous of
was curved, he believed it to be cylindrical (with its Studying Medicine™, which impressed Elizabeth
axis east to west); and he was probably the first Garrett and her friend Emily Davies (1830“1921)
Greek to map the whole known world. He visual- who decided that Elizabeth should work to open
ized the Earth as poised in space (a new idea). the medical profession in England to women and
Anderson, Carl David (1905“91) US physicist: dis- that Emily Davies would pursue higher education
covered the positron and the muon. for women (she founded Girton College, Cam-
Anderson, the only son of Swedish immigrants, bridge). As she was the youngest, Elizabeth™s sister
was educated in Los Angeles and at the California Millicent (Fawcett) was to work for the vote for
Institute of Technology, where he remained for the women.
rest of his career. After graduation in New York Elizabeth Blackwell
Anderson discovered the positron accidentally in was inscribed on the British Medical Register. The
1932 (its existence had been predicted by Dirac in Medical Council decided in future to exclude all
1928). As a result, Dirac™s relativistic quantum holders of foreign degrees. To practise medicine in
mechanics and theory of the electron were rapidly Britain Elizabeth Garrett had to gain admission to a
accepted and it became clear that other antiparti- British medical school.
cles existed. Anderson shared the 1936 Nobel Prize With the financial support of her father she
for physics with V F Hess for this discovery. became an unofficial medical student at the
Anderson discovered the positron while studying Middlesex Hospital in 1860. Although she had the
cosmic rays, which he did by photographing their approval of the Dean, students and staff objected and
tracks in a cloud chamber in order to find the she had to leave. No medical school or university in
energy spectrum of secondary electrons produced Great Britain would admit a woman, so she applied to
by the rays. A lead plate divided the chamber so that the Society of Apothecaries, which provided a mini-
the direction of movement of the particles could be mum qualification in medicine. After taking coun-
deduced (they are slowed or stopped by the lead). sel™s opinion, the Society was unable to refuse her
Also, a magnetic field was applied to deflect parti- application because of the wording of its Charter, an
cles in different directions according to their opening closed soon after her success. She attended a
charge and by an amount related to their mass. course by T H Huxley on natural history and physiol-
Many positive particles were seen which were not ogy and John Tyndall™s course on physics at the
protons; they were too light and produced too little Royal Institution, at their invitation. Only private
ionization. Anderson identified their mass as about tuition for the Apothecaries™ medical course was
that of an electron, concluding that these were pos- open to her and she found tutors at the medical
itive electrons, or positrons. The discovery was con- schools at St Andrews, Edinburgh and London. She
firmed by Blackett and Occhialini the following passed the Apothecaries™ Hall examination in 1865,
year. becoming the first woman to complete a recognized
Anderson discovered another elementary particle course of medical training with legal qualifications
within the same year, again by observing cosmic ray in Britain.
tracks. It had unit negative charge and was 130 As a woman Elizabeth Garrett was barred from
times as heavy as an electron, and seemed a possible any hospital appointment and was unacceptable as
confirmation of Yukawa™s theory of a particle com- an assistant in general practice. She was dependent
municating the strong nuclear force (now called a on an allowance from her father for some time. She
pi-meson or pion). However a series of experiments became a consultant physician to women and chil-
by Anderson in 1935 revealed that it was not and the dren from her home in London. Although willing to
role of this mu-meson (or muon), as it is now called, attend male patients she feared that to do so might
remained unclear. The true pi-meson was first create a scandal. In 1865, just before a cholera epi-
found by Powell in 1947. Positrons are inherently demic reached London, she opened the St Mary™s
stable, but as they are antiparticles of electrons the Dispensary for Women and Children in a poor area
two annihilate each other. Mesons are intrinsically of London and became visiting medical officer to a
unstable and decay rapidly. (Portrait on p. 170) children™s hospital in East London.
Anderson, Elizabeth, n©e Garrett (1836“1917) The Sorbonne in Paris admitted women in 1868
British physician; pioneered the acceptance of and in 1870 Elizabeth Garrett became the first
women into British medical schools. woman MD from that university. In 1871 she
Anderson, Philip Warren

married James Skelton Anderson (died 1907) and collection of their fossils; and he found evidence of
combined family life with her work. The London very early human life in central Asia.
Andrews, Thomas (1813“85) British physical
School of Medicine for Women, which was initiated
by Sophia Jex-Blake, opened in 1874 and Elizabeth chemist: showed existence of critical temperature
Garrett Anderson served on the Executive and pressure for fluids.
Committee, taught in the school and worked for The son of a Belfast merchant, Andrews studied
the students to be admitted to the University of chemistry and medicine in Scotland. In Paris he
London™s examinations. In 1883 she was elected studied chemistry under Dumas and at Giessen he
Dean, the same year that Mary Scharlieb and Edith studied under Liebig. In Belfast he first practised
Shove became the first women to gain medical medicine and later became professor of chemistry.
degrees from London University. The School He proved that ˜ozone™ is an allotrope of oxygen (ie
became a college of the University of London. From a different form of the element; ozone was later
1886 Elizabeth Garrett Anderson was concerned shown to be O3; ordinary oxygen is O2). He was a fine
with the New Hospital for Women which served as experimenter and is best known for his work on the
the teaching hospital for the London School of continuity of the liquid and gaseous states of
Medicine for Women. In 1908 she was elected matter (1869). Using carbon dioxide, he showed
mayor of Aldeburgh, the first woman mayor in that above its ˜critical temperature™ (31°C) it cannot
England. It was due to the efforts of Elizabeth be liquefied by pressure alone. This example sug-
Garrett Anderson that medical education and gested that at a suitably low temperature, any gas
medical science was opened to women in Britain. could be liquefied, as was later demonstrated by
Anderson, Philip Warren (1923“95) US physicist: Cailletet.
Anfinsen, Christian (Boehmer) (1916“95) US bio-
discovered aspects of the electronic structure of
magnetic and disordered systems. chemist: made discoveries related to the shape and
Anderson studied at Harvard, doing doctoral activity of enzymes.
research with Van Vleck and spending 1943“45 Educated at Swarthmore and Harvard, Anfinsen
involved in antenna engineering at the Naval afterwards worked at Harvard and from 1950 at the
Research Laboratory. Anderson™s career was largely National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. In
with Bell Telephone Laboratories, but he became 1960 Moore and W H Stein (1911“80) found the
professor of physics at Princeton in 1975, and he sequence of the 124 amino acids which make up
also held a visiting professorship at Cambridge, UK ribonuclease and it became the first enzyme for
(1967“75). Under Van Vleck, Anderson worked on which the full sequence was known. However, it
pressure broadening of spectroscopic lines. In 1958 was clear that enzymes owe their special catalytic
he published a paper on electronic states in disor- ability not only to the sequence of amino acid units
dered media, showing that electrons would be con- but also to the specific shape adopted by the chain-
fined to regions of limited extent (Anderson like molecule. Anfinsen showed that, if this shape is
localization) rather than be able to move freely. In disturbed, it can be restored merely by putting the
1959 he calculated a model explaining ˜superex- molecule into the precise environment (of temper-
change™, the way in which two magnetic atoms may ature, salt concentration, etc) favourable for it,
interact via an intervening atom. In 1961 he pub- when it spontaneously takes up the one shape (out
lished important work on the microscopic origin of of many possibilities) that restores its enzymic
magnetism in materials. The Anderson model is a activity. He deduced that all the requirements for
quantum mechanical model that describes local- this precise three-dimensional assembly must be
ized states and their possible transition to freely present in the chain sequence; and he showed that
mobile states. This model has been used widely to other proteins behaved similarly. He shared the
study magnetic impurities, superconducting tran- Nobel Prize for chemistry with Moore and Stein in
sition temperatures and related problems. Also, 1972.
…ngström, Anders (Jonas) (1814“74) Swedish
during his work on superconductivity and super-
fluidity, Anderson worked on the possible super- spectroscopist: detected hydrogen in the Sun.
fluid states of helium-3. For these investigations of …ngström was educated at Uppsala and taught
electronic properties of materials, particularly physics at the university there until his death. He
magnetic and disordered ones, Anderson shared was an early spectroscopist and deduced in 1855
the 1977 Nobel Prize for physics. that a hot gas emits light at the same wavelengths
Andrews, Roy Chapman (1884“1960) US natural- at which it absorbs light when cooler; this was
ist and palaeontologist. proved to be so in 1859 by Kirchhoff. From 1861 he
Andrews™s career was mostly spent with the studied the Sun™s spectrum, concluding that hydro-
American Museum of Natural History, New York, gen must be present in the Sun, and mapping about
and with its expeditions (especially to Asia) to col- 1000 of the lines seen earlier by Fraunhofer. A non-
SI unit of length, the ångström (…) is 10 “10 m; it was
lect specimens. His more dramatic finds included
the fossil remains of the largest land mammal yet used by him to record the wavelength of spectral
found, Paraceratherium, a relative of the rhino lines.
Anning, Mary (1799“1847) British palaeontologist.
which stood 5.5 m high; and the first fossil dinosaur
eggs. He had a special interest in whales and other Mary Anning had the good fortune to be born in
cetaceans (aquatic mammals) and built up a fine Lyme Regis in Dorset, a place of great geological
Appleton, Sir Edward

Appert, Nicholas-Fran§ois [apair] (c.1749“1841)
interest and, when a year old, to survive a lightning
strike. Her nurse sheltered with her beneath a tree French chef: devised an improved method of food
during a thunderstorm with two others; only Mary preservation.
survived. As a innkeeper™s son, Appert was familiar with
Her father, a cabinetmaker, supplemented his food preparation and he became a chef and confec-
income by selling local fossils to summer tioner. A government prize was offered for
visitors. He died when Mary was 11 years old and improved methods of preserving food, especially
she, apparently well trained by him, continued to for military use, and from 1795 Appert experi-
help the family income by the same means. Her mented with sealing food into glass jars using
brother discovered the head of a marine reptile in waxed cork bungs. Using heat-sterilization of the
the cliffs between Lyme Regis and Charmouth in vessel and contents he was successful and in 1810
1811 and Mary carefully excavated the complete he claimed the 12t000 franc prize. He used auto-
remains, named Ichthyosaurus in1817; she sold it to claves (pressure cookers) to give a temperature a
a collector for £23. This was the beginning of a life- little above the boiling point of water. Tinplate cans
time™s fruitful fossil-hunting; her value to palaeon- came into use in England after 1810 and were
tologists was in her local knowledge, her skill in sealed by soldering. Appert™s work was highly
recognition and the care she took to present her praised, but he died in poverty. Pasteur™s work,
finds in an uninjured state. In 1823 she discovered which rationalized Appert™s success, came in the
the complete skeleton of an little-known saurian, 1860s.
Appleton, Sir Edward (Victor) (1892“1965)
named Plesiosaurus by William Conybeare
(1787“1857) and described by him at a meeting of British physicist: pioneer of ionospheric physics;
the Geological Society in London in 1824. Another discovered reflective layers within the ionosphere.
major discovery of hers at Lyme was described as Appleton studied physics at Cambridge, but it was
Pterodactylus macronyx by William Buckland service in the First World War as a signals officer
(1784“1856) in 1829; this fossil of a strange flying which led to his interest in radio. In 1924 he was
reptile attracted much attention. appointed professor of experimental physics at
Mary Anning supplied fossils to palaeontologists, King™s College, London. In 1939 he was appointed
collectors and museums, as well as to the visitors to secretary of the Department of Scientific and
her shop in Lyme Regis and attracted the general Industrial Research, and later became vice-chancellor
public to fossil-collecting and to herself, by her suc- of Edinburgh University.
cesses. She became both knowledgeable and aware In 1901 Marconi had transmitted radio signals
of the significance of her discoveries. She left no across the Atlantic, to the astonishment of many in
publications and her contribution to the ˜golden the scientific community who believed that, since
age™ of British geology has been largely neglected; electromagnetic radiation travels in straight lines
her discoveries were described and collected by and the Earth™s surface is curved, this was not pos-
others. In her later years she was assisted by a small sible. Shortly afterward, A E Kennelly (1861“1939)
government grant awarded by the prime minister, and Heaviside proposed a reflecting layer of charged
Lord Melbourne, at the prompting of Buckland and particles in the atmosphere as the explanation. In a
the Geological Society of London. When she died classic experiment in 1925, Appleton became the
her work was acknowledged by the president of the first to demonstrate beyond doubt the existence of
Society in his anniversary address. Later a stained- such a reflecting layer within the ionosphere. He
glass window to her memory was placed by the transmitted signals between Bournemouth and
Fellows in the parish church at Lyme Regis. Cambridge (a distance of 170 km); and by slowly
Apollonius (of Perga) [apawlohneeuhs] (c.260“
190tbc) Greek mathematician: wrote classic treatise
on conic sections.
Apollonius was a student in Alexandria and later
taught there, specialising in geometry. Of his books, v v
one survives, On Conic Sections. It deals with the
curves formed by intersecting a plane through a
double circular cone (see diagram). These are the
circle, ellipse, parabola and hyperbola (the last
three were named by Apollonius). Much of the book (3)
on the properties of conics is original; it represents
v v v
the high point of Greek geometry and, although at
the time the work appeared to have no uses, Kepler
1800 years later found that the planets moved in
ellipses and the curves now have many applications
in ballistics, rocketry and engineering. (6)
(4) (5)
Apollonius was also interested in astronomy and
especially in the Moon, and proposed a theory of Conic sections “ Cone (sometimes double) cut by a plane
epicycles to describe the sometimes apparently to give (1) a single point (2) a pair of straight lines (3) a
retrograde motions of the outer planets. hyperbola (4) a parabola (5) a circle (6) an ellipse
Arago, Dominique Fran§ois Jean

varying the frequency and studying the received cation. The school had a Science Club to which
signal he showed that interference was occurring Ethel Sargant, who had also attended the school,
between the part of the signal that travelled in gave talks on botany. After taking degree examina-
a straight line from transmitter to receiver (the tions at University College, London, and Newnham
direct, or ground, wave) and another part that College, Cambridge, Agnes Robertson became a
was reflected by the ionosphere (the sky wave). research assistant to Ethel Sargant at her private
Measurement of the interference caused by the dif- laboratory and worked on seedling structures.
ferent path lengths enabled him to measure the From 1903“08 she returned to London to take up
height of the reflecting layer, about 70 km. This was research on gymnosperms.
the first radio distance measurement. This layer is After her marriage in 1909 she worked at the
now known as the Heaviside layer or E layer. Balfour Laboratory in Cambridge until 1927 and
Further work revealed a second layer above the thereafter in her own laboratory at home. For the
first, which is now called the Appleton layer or F next 50 years her researches were mainly con-
layer . The E layer is more effective after dark, since cerned with the anatomy and morphology of mono-
the Sun™s ultraviolet rays interact with the ionos- cotyledonous plants and her researches were
phere, which is why distant radio stations are more gathered into book form. She published Herbals,
readily picked up at night. For his achievements Their Origin and Evolution (1912), Water Plants: A Study
Appleton received the Nobel Prize for physics in of Aquatic Angiosperms (1920), and Monocotyledons
1947. (1925). She also produced in the Cambridge
Arago, Dominique Fran§ois Jean [aragoh] Botanical Handbook series The Gramineae: A Study of
(1786“1853) French physicist. Cereal, Bamboo, and Grass (1934). In 1946 she was
Beginning his career as a secretary at the Bureau elected to the fellowship of the Royal Society; she
de Longitudes, Arago went with Biot to Spain in was the third woman to receive the honour. After
1806 to complete the geodetic measurements of an the Second World War she turned more to philoso-
arc of the meridian. The return journey was event- phy and wrote The Natural Philosophy of Plant Form
ful as the ship was wrecked and he was almost (1950), The Mind and the Eye (1954) and The Manifold
enslaved at Algiers. He made distinguished researches and the One (1957).
Archer, Frederick (Scott) (1813“57) British inven-
in many branches of physics, and in 1838 suggested
a crucial experiment to decide between the particle tor of the wet collodion photographic process.
and wave theories of light, by measuring its speed in Orphaned early in life, Archer was apprenticed to
air and in water. The experiment was tried by a London silversmith. This led him first to study
Foucault in 1850 and pointed to the wave theory. coins and then to design them and to work as a por-
Arago was the first to discover that substances trait sculptor. To obtain likenesses for this he began
other than iron have magnetic properties. He dis- in 1847 to use the primitive photographic methods
covered in 1820 the production of magnetism by of the time. He experimented to improve them and
electricity; a piece of iron, surrounded by a coil of tried collodion (a solution of nitrocellulose in
wire, was briefly magnetized by passing a current ether), on paper and then on glass, as part of the
from either a capacitor or a voltaic cell through the sensitive material. In 1851 he published his
coil. method: collodion containing iodide was flowed
The device called Arago™s disc consists of a hori- over a glass plate. This was followed by silver nitrate
zontal copper disc with a central vertical spindle; solution. The moist plate was quickly exposed in
the disc can be spun by a belt and pulley. Above it, the camera and then developed, fixed and washed
and separately mounted, is a pivoted compass to give a glass negative from which positive paper
needle. When the disc is spun, the needle follows it; prints could be made. The moist plate was much
if the rotation of the plate is reversed, the needle more sensitive to light than its predecessors and
slows, stops and also reverses. The effect is due to allowed exposures to be reduced to 2“20 s.
eddy currents in the disc, although Arago did not Archer was diffident, poor, generous and un-
know this. The value of his experiments in electric- worldly. Talbot claimed (falsely) that the whole
ity and magnetism is that they later inspired process was covered by his patents, but by 1854 his
Faraday to make his major discoveries. attempts to prevent the use of collodion by legal
Arago was a close friend of Humboldt for half a injunctions had failed and, as the daguerrotype
century; the latter wrote of Arago as ˜one gifted patents had lapsed in 1853, the public could take
with the noblest of natures, equally distinguished up photography without restraint and did so
for intellectual power and for moral excellence™. enthusiastically. Despite the need to carry a tent
Arber, Agnes, n©e Robertson (1879“1960) British and portable laboratory, the wet collodion process
botanist: her careful investigations of plant struc- quickly supplanted all others and was widely used
ture made a lasting contribution to botanical by amateurs and professionals until 1880, when the
knowledge. more convenient gelatine dry plate was introduced.
Agnes Robertson became an enthusiastic student Archer died poor and unappreciated, and his
of botany while attending the North London family received niggardly provision from Govern-
Collegiate School for Girls. The school was unusu- ment and professional photographers who had
ally good in its teaching of science and it was there profited by use of his unpatented methods. Only
that she learned about plant anatomy and classifi- after many years was his contribution recognized.
Armstrong, Edwin Howard

Archimedes (of Syracuse) [ah(r)kimeedeez]
(c.287“212 bc) Sicilian Greek mathematician and
physicist: pioneer of statics and hydrostatics.
A member of a wealthy noble family, Archimedes
studied in Alexandria but returned to Syracuse in
Sicily, whose king Hieron II was a relative.
Archimedes was the finest scientist and mathe-
matician of the ancient world but little is firmly
known of his life, although legends exist. He is
known to have used experiments to test his theo-
ries, which he then expressed mathematically. He
devised weapons against the Roman fleet when it
attacked Syracuse in 215 bc; the Romans took the
city in 212 bc and Archimedes was killed. Cicero
found and restored his tomb in 75 bc.
In mathematics, Archimedes used geometrical
methods to measure curves and the areas and volumes
of solids (e.g. the volume of a sphere, 4πr3/3); he used a
close approximation for π (he showed it to be between
223/71 and 220/70) and developed his results without
the use of the calculus (which came nearly 2000 years
later). He used a new notation to deal with very large Aristotle: from a bas-relief found in the collection of
numbers, described in his book Sand-Reckoner. Fulvius Ursinus.
In applied mathematics, he created mechanics;
his innovations ranged from the directly practical
(eg the compound pulley and the Archimedian Aristotle [aristotl] (384“322 bc) Athenian (Greek)
screw) to derivations of the theory of levers and cen- philosopher and naturalist: provided philosophical
tres of gravity, forming the basic ideas of statics. He basis of science which proved dominant for 18 cen-
founded hydrostatics, contributing ideas which turies.
included specific gravity and the Archimedes prin- Son of the court physician at Macedon, Aristotle
ciple: this states that when a body is wholly or was orphaned early and moved to Athens, where he
partly immersed in a fluid, it experiences a buoyant became Plato™s finest pupil. In 342tbc he returned
force (upthrust) which shows itself as an apparent to Macedon as tutor and then adviser to Philip II™s
loss of weight, equal to the weight of fluid dis- son Alexander, who became Alexander the Great.
placed. (The fluid can be liquid or gas.) Later he became a public teacher in Athens, using a
Archimedes™ water-screw for moving water up a garden he owned (the Lyceum). His collected lec-
slope has been claimed to be the helical device from tures cover most of the knowledge of the time in
which screws of all kinds developed: screw devices science, and some other fields such as logic and
were certainly known to Hero, who was thought by ethics (but not mathematics), and include much of
Pliny, incorrectly, to have originated the idea of Aristotle™s own work in zoology and anatomy. He
this invaluable mover and fixer. The place of the was a first-class naturalist and marine biologist,
helix in molecular biology was unknown until over whereas his record of older views in physics and
2000 years later. cosmology contained many misguided, although
Gauss thought that Archimedes had only defensible, ideas. Aristotle™s books survived in the
Newton as a mathematical equal. Arab world, and re-entered Christian Europe in
Aristarchus (of Samos) [aristah(r)kuhs] (c.320“ Latin translation in the 12th and 13th-c. It was no
c.250tbc) Greek astronomer: proposed heliocentric fault of the writer that his books were accorded
cosmology; and made first estimate of astro- almost divine authority, and some of the erroneous
nomical distances. ideas were not easily displaced (eg that bodies
Although little is known of the life of Aristarchus, ˜outside the sphere of the Moon™ are perfect and
he was perhaps the first to propose that the Earth unchanging). His status as a major figure in philos-
moved around the Sun, in contrast to the accepted ophy has never changed.
thinking of his day. He also attempted to estimate Armstrong, Edwin Howard (1890“1954) US radio
the relative distances of the Sun and the Moon, engineer.
using the fact that when the Moon is exactly half Many teenagers build radio receivers; Armstrong
light and half dark it forms a right angle with the was unusual in also making a transmitter before he
Earth and the Sun. Although his result was wildly became a student of electrical engineering at
inaccurate, it was the first experimental attempt at Columbia. Then, during the First World War, he
measuring an astronomical distance. His work worked on the problem of locating aircraft by
makes him the most original of the Greek astrono- detecting the stray radio emission from their igni-
mers and in the modern view the most successful. tion systems; a side-result was his development of the
His heliocentric scheme was made precise by superheterodyne circuit, which made radio tuning
Copernicus in the 16th-c. much easier and helped make radio popular. From
Armstrong, Neil

Arrhenius, Svante (August) [arayneeus] (1859“
1934 he taught electrical engineering at Columbia
and by 1939 he had devised a major advance in 1927) Swedish physical chemist: proposed theory
radio transmission: FM. of ionic dissociation; he foresaw the greenhouse
Previously, radio signals conveyed speech or music effect in 1896.
by changes in the amplitude of the carrier radio Arrhenius came from a family of farmers, and his
waves (amplitude modulation, AM). The snag of this father was an estate manager and surveyor. He
is that electrical storms and appliances introduce attended Uppsala University and did very well in
random noise (static). Armstrong™s method was to physical science, and then moved to Stockholm to
vary the carrier signal by changes in frequency (fre- work for a higher degree on aqueous solutions of
quency modulation, FM) which is largely free from electrolytes (acids, bases and salts); he concluded
interference. This requires use of high frequencies that such solutions conduct a current because the
that have only a limited range, but it has become the electrolyte exists in the form of charged atoms or
preferred mode for radio and TV use. groups of atoms (positive cations and negative
Armstrong, Neil (Alden) (1930“ ) US astronaut: anions), which move through the solution when a
the first man to walk on the Moon. current is applied. He obtained good evidence for
This most dramatic act of manned exploration this during the 1880s but his theory was only slowly
occurred on 20 July 1969 and represented success in accepted, especially in Sweden. (Since then, further
a curious international contest. In 1957 the USSR evidence has substantially confirmed his views,
had placed an unmanned spacecraft (Sputnik) into and has also shown that salts are largely ionic even
orbit, and this blow to national self-esteem in the in the solid state.) In 1903 he was awarded the
USA led to President Kennedy in 1961 committing Nobel Prize for chemistry. His work was surpris-
his country to a manned moon-landing within the ingly varied and included immunology, cosmic
decade. physics and the first recognition of the ˜greenhouse
The Manned Spacecraft Centre, at Houston, TX, effect™ (heat gain by the atmosphere due to carbon
worked for this result and success came with the dioxide). He also studied the effect of temperature
Apollo 11 flight commanded by Armstrong. He had on the rates of chemical reactions, and showed that
served as a naval aviator in the Korean War and k = A exp (“ E/RT)
later studied aeronautical engineering at Purdue where k is the rate constant for the reaction, A is
University, IN, and the University of Southern the frequency factor, E is the activation energy for
California before joining the organization which the reaction, R is the gas constant and T the Kelvin
became NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space temperature (this is the Arrhenius equation).
Aston, Francis William (1877“1945) British chemi-
Administration) in 1955. By 1969 he was well
equipped to land a spacecraft on the Moon, under cal physicist: invented mass spectrograph.
his manual control. The scientific results of the After graduating in chemistry in Birmingham,
visit were limited and were exceeded by the results Aston worked for 3 years as a chemist in a nearby
from unmanned space probes. Armstrong left brewery. In his leisure at home he designed and
NASA in 1971 and, after a period as professor of made an improved vacuum pump and in 1903 he
aeronautical engineering at Cincinnati, OH, turned to physics as a career, working on discharge
became a businessman from 1980. tubes in Birmingham and, from 1909, in Cambridge
as J J Thomson™s assistant. They worked on the ˜pos-
itive rays™ which Thomson had found to be gener-
ated within one part of a vacuum tube through
which an electric discharge is passed. Aston and
Thomson believed that their experiments on posi-
tive rays from tubes containing neon gas showed it
to contain atoms with masses of about 20 and 22
units. Proof of this, and extension of the work, was
interrupted by the First World War.
Aston™s war work at the Royal Aircraft Establish-
ment linked him with a talented group of physicists,
including Lindemann, Taylor, Adrian, G P Thomson
and H Glauert (1892“1934). Soon after the war he
devised a mass spectrograph which was able to sepa-
rate atoms of similar mass and measure these masses
accurately (his third spectrograph to 1 in 105; 1 in 109
is now easily available on commercial machines).
Aston showed clearly that over 50 elements consisted
of atoms of similar but different relative atomic mass
(eg for S; 32, 33 and 34) but the same atomic number
(ie nuclear charge). The Aston rule is that the masses
are approximately integers; the apparent deviations
Neil Armstrong lands on the Moon in 1969 from Apollo
of relative atomic masses of the elements from
11, with Edwin ˜Buzz™ Aldrin who is holding the edge of
integers results from the presence of these isotopes.
the US flag.
Panel: The exploration of space

THE EXPLORATION OF SPACE President John F Kennedy™s objective, stated in 1961,
˜that this nation should commit itself to achieving the
To transform dreams of space travel into reality and goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on
to explore space directly, rockets are needed: their the Moon and returning him safely to Earth™. In suc-
power overcomes the force of gravity which pulls all cessfully accomplishing this, scientists also investi-
objects towards the centre of the Earth. gated samples of lunar material, and studied the
Konstantin Edvardovich Tsiolkovsky (1857“1935) Moon™s gravitational, magnetic, and seismic proper-
was the first to suggest multistage rockets. He also ties. The Apollo 15 mission, with David R Scott
suggested the use of liquid hydrogen and liquid (1932“ ), Alfred M Worden (1932“ ) and James B
oxygen as propellants, burned in a combustion Irwin (1930“ ), was the first to use a battery-
chamber. Independently, GODDARD successfully made powered lunar rover to travel up to 103 km/63 mi
rockets fuelled by gasoline (petrol) and liquid oxygen. from the landing site. The Apollo missions, through
In 1937, one of these reached a height of about 2.5 the rock samples they provided, led to the general
km/1.6 mi. Hermann Oberth (1894“1990) considered acceptance, from 1984, of a novel theory of the
rocket propulsion and guidance systems theoreti- Moon™s origin, as due to impact on the early Earth of
cally. His work led to the ethanol/liquid-oxygen- a Mars-sized planetesimal, the resulting debris coa-
fuelled German V2 rocket that was perfected by VON lescing to form the Moon.
BRAUN during the Second World War. Also during the 1960s, many Soviet cosmonauts
After the war von Braun worked in the USA, devel- and American astronauts orbited the Earth. The first
oping rockets that could carry instruments into the American astronaut to do so was John H Glenn
uppermost part of the Earth™s atmosphere. In 1954 he (1921“ ), later a senator and by virtue of his second
proposed using the Redstone rocket, similar in design spaceflight in October 1998, the oldest astronaut. In
to the V2, to put a satellite weighing 2 kg into orbit February 1962 he travelled three times round the
around the Earth. In the event, the first US satellite, world in less than 5 hours in his Mercury Friendship 7
the 14 kg Explorer 1, was launched by a Jupiter C capsule, which was launched by an Atlas rocket.
rocket early in 1958. Using Geiger counters aboard it, Confidence was building up as L Gordon Cooper
VAN ALLEN discovered the radiation belts of energetic, (1927“ ) survived in space for more than 24 hours
charged particles that surround the Earth, and which aboard the Mercury Faith 7 capsule during May 1963.
now carry his name. Aboard Vostok 6, Valentina Tereshkova
The first Earth-orbiting satellite was the 84 kg (1937“ ) was the first woman in space, in June
Soviet Sputnik 1. This was launched on 4 October 1963. In March 1965, Aleksei Leonov donned a
1957, using kerosene (paraffin oil)/liquid-oxygen spacesuit to emerge from Voskhod 2, a three-man
fuel. The rocket engines were designed by a team led spacecraft, and to walk in space for the first time.
by Sergei Pavolvich Korolev (1907“66). His rockets Edward H White (1930“67) became the first
also powered the first manned space flight on 29 American to walk in space 3 months later, this time
April 1961 by Yuri Gagarin (1934“68), whose flight in for 21 min. In 1965 and 1966, 10 two-man Gemini
the Vostok 1 capsule (4.7 tonnes) around the Earth missions were launched by Titan 2 rockets, with
lasted 108 minutes. Furthermore, Korolev™s rockets Armstrong on Gemini 8, Michael Collins on Gemini
launched the first space probe, Venera 3, to land on 10, and Buzz Aldrin on Gemini 12. The Gemini pro-
the planet Venus. gramme demonstrated that humans could survive
With the Soviet Luna programme and the US and operate in space for at least 2 weeks, and that
Ranger programme, television pictures of the one space vehicle could rendezvous and dock with
Moon™s surface were sent back to Earth before the another. Both astronauts and flight control crews on
spacecraft crashed into the Moon. Later, the soft the ground gained valuable experience for the Apollo
landings of Surveyor spacecraft were a prelude to programme.
America™s Apollo programme. It was during the Polar-orbiting satellites were used during the
Apollo 11 mission that NEIL ARMSTRONG became the 1960s for research on both the Earth™s atmosphere
first human being to set foot on the Moon, on 20 July and the near-Earth space environment. Clouds were
1969, speaking the now famous prepared words observed from the Tiros satellites, leading to
˜that™s one small step for man; one giant leap for improved weather forecasts. The Transit navigational
mankind™. The other Apollo 11 astronauts were satellite and Echo telecommunications satellite pro-
Michael Collins (1930“ ) and Edwin E (Buzz) Aldrin grammes commenced in 1960. Remote sensing of the
(1930“ ). Earth™s surface for a variety of resource studies was
For the Apollo programme, the gigantic 110 m-tall successfully begun in 1972 with Landsat 1. On
Saturn V rocket was developed by von Braun™s team. images taken from the Ikonos satellite, launched in
It had to send 40 tonnes towards the Moon at a September 1999, objects with a size of only 1m or so
speed exceeding 11 km s “1. It was needed to meet US can be picked out.

Panel: The exploration of space

From Earth-orbiting satellites in highly eccentric bay is vast, 18 m/59 ft long and 4.56 m/15 ft diameter.
orbits, Norman F Ness (1933“ ) discovered and Once in space, the cargo of satellites can be launched.
investigated the magnetopause, the boundary Alternatively, the cargo bay can house a laboratory,
between the Earth™s magnetic field and the inter- such as the European Spacelab, in which experiments
planetary medium. This had been postulated by are performed during the mission, which typically
CHAPMAN in 1931. Konstantin Gringauz (1918“93) lasts 10 days. Ulf Merbold (1941“ ) was the first
found the plasmapause, the outer boundary of the European astronaut aboard Spacelab at the end of
Earth™s topside ionosphere, in 1963, and Lou A Frank 1983. The Soviets used a rather similar space shuttle,
(1938“ ) observed the rings of auroral light around called Buran (˜Snowstorm™). This was launched for the
the Earth™s magnetic poles from the Dynamics first and only time in November 1988.
Explorer 1 satellite. European, Chinese, Japanese and other national
Realizing the 1945 idea of CLARKE, a Syncom 2 space programmes developed since the 1960s to
telecommunications satellite was launched into geo- complement the superpowers™ space programmes.
stationary orbit in July 1963. At an altitude of 36 000 The Ariadne, Long March and Lambda or Mu rockets
km/22 370 mi above the equator, the orbital period is launched a wide variety of both civil and military
one day, and so the satellite always remains above a satellites with scientific or technological payloads. For
certain geographical position. With at least three example, both Europe and Japan sent spacecraft
such satellites, point-to-point communications are (Giotto, and Suisei and Sakigake, respectively) as well
possible anywhere in the world (except for the polar as the Soviet Vega probes, to study HALLEY™S comet
regions). The geostationary orbit is also invaluable when it neared the Sun in 1986. The European SPOT
(Satellite pour l™observation de la terre) satellites have
for making continuous meteorological observations
over most of the Earth. excellent spatial resolution and colour discrimination
From 1970s onwards, the USA explored the planets for geological and cartographic remote-sensing inves-
of the solar system with Mariner, Pioneer, Viking and tigations of our planet. Besides downward-looking
Voyager spacecraft. Striking photographs were instruments to investigate such phenomena as the
obtained and many scientific investigations pursued. ozone hole and volcanoes, telescopes can view out-
The USSR concentrated on carrying out detailed wards to investigate space across the electromagnetic
studies of Mars and Venus. Detailed knowledge of the spectrum at wavelengths where the atmosphere
planets was vastly increased by these programmes. absorbs radiation. New insights into the universe, and
During 1973, several American scientists worked its origin, are obtained. Although initially plagued by
for weeks at a time in Skylab, an orbiting laboratory. an instrumental defect, the shuttle-launched Hubble
First they corrected several mechanical problems space telescope, when repaired in orbit in 1994, gave
with their equipment. Their subjects of study ranged superb observations.
from stellar astronomy and solar physics, to the The space nations are currently working towards
behaviour of substances under almost weightless an International Space Station and are considering
conditions, and the physiological effects of space on the benefits of a manned mission to the Moon and/or
astronauts. From 1967, the then USSR conducted Mars. The USA is forging ahead with its international
some 60 manned space flight missions, the longest space station, Freedom, and is considering the bene-
lasting more than a year. In the Salyut or Cosmos fits of a manned mission to the Moon and/or to Mars,
spacecraft and, after 1986, the Mir space station, as well as smaller satellites dedicated to solving par-
they accumulated a wealth of practical experience ticular scientific problems. International collabora-
across many scientific and technological disciplines. tion will undoubtedly be the hallmark of future space
Svetlana Savitskaia (1948“ ) worked outside the exploration.
Salyut 7 space station for nearly 4 hours in July 1984, For the future, tele-communications satellites
the first time that a woman performed extravehicular will transfer Internet traffic, and constellations of
activity (EVA). The first British cosmonaut, Helen low Earth-orbiting satellites may be introduced.
Sharman (1963“ ), worked aboard Mir for a week Europe is developing a satellite system for navi-
in 1991, and the second, Michael Foale (1957“ ) gation, known as Galileo. There are hopes that
aboard the US Space Shuttle in 1992 and 1999, and new technologies will lead to very much cheaper
Mir in 1997. access to space “ that is the key to its future
The US Space Shuttle flew for the first time in April commercialization. Perhaps the most exciting future
1981. It is a recoverable and reusable launch vehicle missions are to Mars, with launches planned every
rather than an expendable rocket. During launch its two years, investigating whether or not life ever
three main engines, fuelled by liquid hydrogen and existed there.
liquid oxygen, are supplemented by two solid fuel
Prof M J Rycroft, CAESAR Consultancy, Cambridge
(polybutadiene) rocket boosters. The Shuttle™s cargo

Auerbach, Charlotte

Aston found that isotopic masses are not exactly there were no children and she continued her sci-
integral (by about 1%) and he related the discrepancy entific interests and collaboration with her father.
(the ˜packing fraction™) to the force binding the Children chaired the Royal Society meeting at which
nucleus together. Atomic energy generation from Talbot announced his ˜calotype™ photographic
nuclear reactions, on Earth or in the stars, can be cal- process, and father and daughter took up the process
culated from packing fractions. enthusiastically. In the same year she became an
The modern mass spectrograph has played a cen- active member of the Botanical Society of London.
tral part in nuclear physics and radiochemistry, The calotype process was difficult (partly because
and more recently in exact analysis in organic Talbot™s information was inadequate), but in 1842
chemistry. Aston was a ˜one device™ investigator, Herschel described his ˜cyanotype™ process. To illus-
but he chose a device whose value has been trate her large collection of algae Anna Atkins
immense. turned to photography. As she explains in her pref-
He was a shy man, a poor teacher, with a passion ace ˜The difficulty of making accurate drawings of
for sports and for sea travel. He won the Nobel Prize objects as minute as many of the Algae and
for chemistry in 1922. Confervae, has induced me to avail myself of Sir
Atiyah, Sir Michael (Francis) [atty-ah] (1929“ ) John Herschel™s beautiful process of Cyanotype, to
British mathematician. obtain impressions of the plants themselves.™ She
Atiyah, the son of a Lebanese father and a Scottish made contact photograms of algae, totalling 389
mother, attended schools in Cairo and Manchester pages of illustration and 14 of handwritten text,
before his military service and then became a and making more than a dozen copies of the whole,
student, and later a fellow, of Trinity College, which were sent to scientific friends and institu-
Cambridge. Further work at Princeton and Oxford tions. And so with her Photographs of British Algae:
followed, and led to professorships at both. Cyanotype Impressions (3 vols, 1843“53) she became
In 1963 he developed the Atiyah“Singer index the first to apply photography to illustrate scien-
theorem, and his subsequent publications in topol- tific studies, predating Talbot™s Pencil of Nature
ogy and algebra have contributed to a variety of (1844“46), although the latter includes pho-
areas in pure mathematics. He developed further tographs made with a camera. Atkins™s work is both
the theory of complex manifolds, which had permanent and suited to its subject, with seaweeds
started with the Riemann surface (a multilayered shown as paler images on a rich blue background.
Auerbach, Charlotte [owerbakh] (1899“1994)
surface) being used to understand multivalued
functions of a single complex variable. Atiyah con- German“British geneticist: discoverer of chemical
sidered what happened when there was more than mutagenesis.
one complex variable. He received the Fields Medal Lotte Auerbach, born in Germany and the daugh-
in 1966 primarily for his work on topology. ter and grand-daughter of scientists, herself stud-
The Fields Medal is awarded every four years to ied science at four German universities and then
two, three or four mathematicians under the age of taught in schools in Berlin until, in 1933, all Jewish
40 and having outstanding distinction and promise teachers were dismissed. She escaped to Edinburgh,
in mathematics. The Canadian mathematician followed by her mother, worked for a PhD and
John Fields initiated, and provided money for, this obtained a lowly job at the Institute of Animal
international medal for high mathematical ability. Genetics there, becoming a lecturer in 1947.
The first medals were awarded in Oslo in 1936; and Discussions with the geneticist H J Müller led her
it is recognized as the mathematical equivalent of a to study mutation in animal cells (a mutation is a
Nobel Prize. Later Atiyah renewed interest in change, spontaneous or induced, in a gene or a
quaternions (see Hamilton) by showing their rela-
tionship with string theory, now widely used in
mathematical physics. From Oxford he returned to
Cambridge as Master of Trinity College and director
of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical
Sciences, in 1990.
Atkins, Anna, n©e Children (1799“1871) British
botanist: the first to use photography to illustrate
scientific studies.
Anna was the only child of J G Children, a Fellow
of the Royal Society whose wife had died shortly
after Anna™s birth. Her father was a friend of the
Herschel family and Anna knew John Herschel
from childhood. She had a close relationship with
her father and shared his scientific interests. No
doubt this position helped her acceptance in the
male scientific circle. She was a skilled illustrator
and provided over 200 drawings for her father™s
translation of Lamarck™s book The Genera of Shells,
published in 1823. Anna married J P Atkins in 1825; Elizabeth Anderson
Panel: Global warming


Before the industrial revolution (roughly pre-1800)
there had been large regional or global changes in
climate: notably a series of ice ages. The last ice age
ended about 20 000 years ago, and we now live in an
interglacial period. These pre-1800 changes, resulting
from causes such as change in solar radiation, or dust
and gas from volcanoes, owe nothing to human activ-
ity. However, since the mid-19th-c human activity has
played an increasing part. Over a century before this Fig. 1. The increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide since
was considered, the idea of the ˜greenhouse effect™ was 1700 showing measurements from ice cores in Antarctica
born. FOURIER, in 1827, recognized that the Earth™s (squares) and, since 1957, direct measurements from the
Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii (triangles).
atmosphere acts somewhat like the glass of a green-
house in raising the temperature, and TYNDALL about
1860 showed that water vapour and carbon dioxide CH4, ˜marsh gas™. As the last name implies it is gener-
(CO2) are important in the matter. The Sun™s radiation is ated by bacterial action on wet organic matter in lakes,
partly reflected by clouds before it reaches the Earth, peatland, and increasingly in man-made landfill
but the solar energy that arrives warms it; nearly 300 rubbish sites, and reservoirs. It is also released in the
W m“2 on average. The Earth in turn re-radiates energy, coal and oil extraction industries, and from termites,
but mainly in the longer wavelength infrared region; and both ends of cattle by enteric fermentation of their
this radiation is strongly absorbed by water vapour and diet. Itself a potent greenhouse gas, it is ultimately
CO2 (0.03% of the atmosphere) and so the atmosphere converted to CO2 in the atmosphere by oxidation.
absorbs the radiation and re-emits much of it back to From about 1980 the Earth as a whole has seen
Earth. The net result is that the atmosphere has a blan- many unusually warm years and a high incidence of
keting effect akin to glass. It keeps the Earth some 20˚ C extreme climatic events “ droughts, floods and storms.
warmer than it would be without the effect. The main Figure 2 shows temperatures from 1860 to 2000; and
constituents of air, nitrogen and oxygen, do not absorb when allowance is made for natural variations in solar
in the infrared. energy reaching the Earth™s surface, the trend roughly
In 1896 ARRHENIUS calculated that doubling the correlates with the increase in CO2. Sophisticated
atmospheric CO2 content would increase the global studies led the IPCC in 2000 to conclude that man-
average temperature by between 5 and 6˚ C; a result made additions to the atmosphere, the ˜enhanced
close to modern values based on more refined calcula- greenhouse effect™, provides the dominant cause of
tion. In 1940 G S Callendar calculated the warming due this global warming.
to a smaller increase in CO2, which he estimated as The IPCC conclusion is that on present trends the
arising from burning fossil fuels (coal and oil). Neither global average temperature will rise by about 5˚ C. The
of these calculations aroused very much general certain and probable effects of this will be dramatic,
interest at the time. but difficult to predict in detail. Positive and negative
In 1957 R Revelle (1909“ ) and H E Suess (1909“ ) feedback, and interactions between many of the
of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, CA, noted primary effects of climate change make the overall cli-
that mankind™s ever-increasing contribution of CO2 to matic change a complex case for modelling.
the atmosphere constituted a global climatic experi- For example, Europe in general will become warmer
ment, whose progress and outcome needed study. by 2100, but for the UK the position is less certain: if
Measurement of atmospheric CO2 levels began in that change in ocean currents diverts the Gulf Stream
year at Mauna Kea in Hawaii, and other studies (which makes Britain™s climate milder than its latitude
followed. would imply) this greatly affects prediction. However,
Water and CO2 are the main natural greenhouse some major effects are clearly foreseeable. Agricultural
gases. The former is outside human control, as is practices will need to change over large areas; disease
some CO2 emission (eg from volcanoes). But much patterns will alter, as will the availability of fresh water.
CO2 emission is now man-made, by burning of fuels. A dramatic and predictable effect will be that on
Of course CO2 is absorbed by green plants for photo- sea level. This will rise in part because of simple expan-
synthesis, a process diminished by human deforesta- sion of water with rise in temperature; and also
tion, especially in the tropics; CO2 is also absorbed because of melting of glaciers and mountain ice caps,

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