ńňđ. 10
(âńĺăî 21)



to investigate nebulae, making the important dis- temperature and pressure and eventually orga-
covery that they were composed of luminous gas; nized a world-wide scheme for collecting magnetic
he later showed that a comet contained hydrocar- and weather observations. He studied American
bon molecules. In 1868 he made perhaps his most volcanoes and showed that they followed geologi-
profound discovery, observing that the spectrum of cal faults, and deduced that volcanic action had
Sirius is shifted towards the red end of the spec- been important in geological history and that
Hume-Rothery, William

many rocks are of igneous origin. He set a world restrial heat; or as uniformitarianism, since it
record by climbing the Chimorazo volcano (5876 m) assumes that geological processes act in a continu-
and was the first to link mountain sickness with ous manner over a long time.
Huxley, Hugh (Esmor) (1924– ) British physiolo-
lack of oxygen, to study the fall of mean tempera-
ture with rising altitude and to relate geographical gist: developed sliding filament theory of muscle
conditions to its animal life and vegetation. In 1804 contraction.
he discovered that the Earth’s magnetic field Huxley studied physics at Cambridge, worked on
decreases from the poles to the equator. His writing radar in the Second World War and afterwards
has been said ‘to combine the large and vague was attracted to biophysics, working at the
ideas, typical of the 18th-c thought, with the exact Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in
and positive science of the 19th’. London and in Cambridge from 1961. From the
Hume-Rothery, William (1899–1968) British met- 1950s he was especially associated with the sliding
allurgist. filament model of muscle contraction, with the
Soon after beginning a military career Hume- development of methods in X-ray diffraction and in
Rothery had meningitis and was left totally deaf so electron microscopy designed for this work but also
he entered Oxford to study chemistry, graduated applicable in other studies.
well, spent 3 years researching in metallurgy in Skeletal muscle is a very abundant animal tissue:
London and then returned to Oxford, which was his it makes up some 40% of the human body mass. Its
base thereafter. He brought together a range of main purpose is to convert chemical energy into
ideas and techniques for the understanding of mechanical work, under neural control. Skeletal
alloys; his first researches were on intermetallic muscle tissue is a parallel array of myofibres, each
compounds and he went on to study alloy phases, consisting of some hundreds of myofibrils, which
compositions and crystal structures, using modern form long cylinders. The myofibril is divided into
electronic theory, V M Goldschmidt’s findings on sarcomeres arranged end to end and, since the
the importance of atomic size, and both micro- myofibrils are arranged with the sarcomeres in reg-
scopy and X-ray methods of examination. His books ister, this gives to skeletal muscle its striated
set out the empirical rules governing alloy forma- appearance. (The fibres of smooth muscle are not
tion and behaviour very fully and did much to arranged in sarcomeres.) Within each sarcomere
advance the subject and to convert it from an art to are the filaments which form the contractile appa-
a science. ratus; it can shorten by some 10%. These filaments
Hutton, James (1726–97) British geologist: pro- are of two kinds: the thicker myosin filaments
posed the uniformitarian principle in geology. interdigitate with the slender actin filaments.
Hutton had a disorganized start to his career. With Jean Hanson, Huxley developed the theory
After leaving school he was apprenticed in a that these thick and thin protein filaments slide
lawyer’s office, but left for the continent to train as past each other in muscle contraction. The process
a doctor, and qualified as an MD at Leiden. has a complex system of regulation through
However, it was a profession that he failed to take changes in calcium ion concentration, and uses
up, turning instead to farming; after studying agri- ATP as the energy source. When the muscle relaxes
culture in England and abroad, he returned to his the crossbridges which project from the thick fila-
native Scotland and a family farm near Edinburgh. ments and which have drawn the structure
After 14 years the success of a business extracting together are detached, and the whole structure
NH4Cl from soot gave him an independent income regains its original length.
Huxley, Thomas Henry (1825–95) British biologist:
and in 1768 he returned to Edinburgh to pursue
science. forceful supporter of theory of evolution.
Hutton is widely regarded as the founder of geol- Despite having a schoolmaster father, young
ogy as a modern science. He rejected the scriptural Huxley had only 2 years of regular schooling and
time scales hitherto accepted, which dated the was mainly self-taught. He was attracted to medi-
Earth as only a few thousand years old, and argued cine, and attended a post-mortem at 14, but he may
that it was immeasurably ancient, with ‘no vestige have contracted an infection there which recurred
of a beginning, no prospect of an end’. He consid- throughout his life. He became an apprentice to a
ered the erosive action of rivers to be a major agent medical brother-in-law, did well, studied medicine
in creating continental topography and believed and surgery in London and joined the Royal Navy.
that sediments washed into the sea by rivers accu- Although his duties on HMS Rattlesnake on a 4-
mulated and were metamorphosed via geothermal year voyage around Australia were as surgeon and
heat to form new rocks, which would eventually be he had only a microscope and makeshift net as
uplifted and form new land masses. Such ideas ran equipment for natural history, he did useful new
contrary to previous ideas of a ‘catastrophic’ origin work on plankton and after a discouraging interval
of the continents, at a fixed point in time corre- this established him on the scientific scene in
sponding to the biblical Creation. Hutton’s concept London. However, these interests exasperated the
of a cyclic process of denudation, transport, sedi- Admiralty and he became a self-employed writer on
mentation, lithification, uplift and renewed science in 1850 and a lecturer on natural history
denudation is often referred to as the Plutonic from 1854 at the School of Mines. This gave him an
theory, due to the crucial part played in it by ter- income to marry his Australian girlfriend of 8 years
Hypatia of Alexandria

before; they eventually had seven children. Their son pendulum’s period; and Huygens showed that for
Leonard was the father of Julian (biologist), Aldous small swings T = 2Ď€(l/g) where T = period, l = length,
(writer) and Andrew Fielding Huxley (physiologist). g = acceleration due to gravity. He designed a pen-
For 30 years, while waiting for a job in physiology, dulum clock and later invented the more accurate
Huxley worked in zoology and palaeontology. compound pendulum (which moves in a cycloidal
These interests led him to his best-known place in arc). Physics could not have moved on without accu-
science, that of advocate for his friend Darwin’s rate time measurement.
ideas on evolution; in famous debates and essays on Huygens’s greatest achievement, however, was
this Huxley showed his forceful expertise. his wave theory of light, first expounded in 1678. He
However, in a debate with Bishop Wilberforce at described light as a vibration spreading through an
the British Association meeting in Oxford in 1860, all-pervading ‘ether’ consisting of microscopic par-
his reply to the Bishop’s query on whether Huxley’s ticles, and he considered every point on the wave-
ancestry was from an ape on his grandfather’s or front to be the source of a series of secondary
his grandmother’s side is variously reported and it spherical wavelets, the envelope of which defined
is unclear who was the victor. He was a lucid and the wave-front at the next instant (known as
elegant writer and a charming man. His careful Huygens’s construction). He was thus able to give a
study of the primates established man as one of simple explanation for the laws of reflection and
them and made evolution a matter of public debate refraction of light, and for the double refraction of
in terms of science rather than emotion. Aside from some minerals. He correctly predicted that light
all this, Huxley did much excellent work of his own travelled slower in denser media. Newton preferred
in zoology and palaeontology and in shaping bio- a particle theory of light. The present view that each
logical education. One of his students in the 1880s concept can be appropriate, depending on the
was H G Wells, who admired him enormously and experimental situation, came only in the 20th-c.
whose early novels were much influenced by Huygens found a value for the distance of a star
Huxley’s teaching. (Sirius) by assuming that it had the same actual
Huygens, Christiaan [hoykhenz] (1629–95) Dutch brightness as the Sun, and making a hole in an
physicist and astronomer: proposed wave theory of opaque plate so small that the Sun’s light seen
light; discovered Saturn’s rings; introduced the through it matched Sirius. Simple calculation then
pendulum clock; worked on the theory of dynamics gave a distance of 27 664 AU, about one-18th of the
and the compound pendulum. correct value and the best then obtained. He also
Well educated as a member of a wealthy family in convinced himself that the planets were populated
The Hague, Huygens studied law before turning to and wrote in detail about shipbuilding and other
science and mathematics. He was, after Newton, engineering on Jupiter and Saturn.
Hypatia of Alexandria [hiypaysha] (c.370–415) The
the most influential physical scientist of the late
17th-c. In 1655, using an improved home-made tele- earliest known female scientist.
scope, he was the first to describe correctly Saturn’s Hypatia’s reputation as a mathematician and
ring system, also discovering Titan, its largest philosopher has survived through the accounts of
moon. He announced the discovery and observation her given by three sources: the 5th-c historian
of Saturn’s rings in the form of a cypher. The fol- of Constantinople, Socrates Scholasticus, and
lowing year he obtained the first solution to the excerpts from earlier Greek writers collected in a
problem of the dynamics of colliding elastic bodies. lexicon-encyclopedia of the 11th-c, together with
Galileo had discovered the constancy of a simple the writings of the 9th-c theologian Photius. None
of her own writings have survived and little is reli-
ably known of her life; the ancient accounts are
often ambiguous and not in agreement, except on
the dramatic manner of her death; an event which
no doubt has assisted in keeping her reputation
Hypatia’s father, Theon, was a mathematician
and astronomer attached to the museum at
Alexandria; her education probably took place
there and included mathematics and astronomy
and a training in the Neoplatonic School. She is
reputed to have written books on mathematics
that included a commentary on the Conics of
Apollonius of Perga and a commentary on
Diophantus. She lectured on astronomy and math-
ematics and the philosophies of Plato and
Aristotle. She taught in Alexandria and among
her students was Synesius, later bishop of
Ptolemais, who wrote of Hypatia’s mechanical and
technological skills in assisting him to invent a
hydrometer and a silver astrolabe.
Christiaan Huygens
Hypatia of Alexandria

During Hypatia’s lifetime the Roman Empire was reason suggested for this violence is that, as a neo-
converting to Christianity and Alexandria was in a platonist, she was regarded as dangerous by the
state of dangerous confusion and of conflicting more fanatical Christians. Another reason given is
ideas. Although there seems to be no agreement that she was a close friend of Orestes, the Roman
among the ancient writers as to the reasons for her Prefect of Egypt, also a former student of hers, that
murder, there does seem to be consensus that he relied heavily on her judgement and that she
Hypatia was set upon by a mob and murdered. One was caught in a political power struggle.

Ingen-Housz, Jan [eenggenhows] (1730–99) Dutch under Baeyer (1896) and there synthesized iso-
plant physiologist: early student of photosynthesis. prene, so beginning his interest in hydrocarbons.
Ingen-Housz studied physics, chemistry and med- This led to further work at the Academy on high-
icine and researched in all three; his early career pressure catalytic and hydrogenation reactions. He
was guided by a British army surgeon who met the developed the Ipatieff ‘bomb’ for this work.
family when encamped near their home in Breda. During the First World War Ipatieff co-ordinated
He travelled widely in Europe, as a popular and Russia’s chemical industries; he was a Lieutenant-
expert user of the pre-Jenner inoculation method (a General by 1916. The Revolution of 1917 inter-
risky affair, using live virus) against smallpox. He rupted Ipatieff’s work (it was within his brother’s
spent his last 20 years in London, where he pub- house that the Tsar and his family were murdered),
lished his work on gas exchange in plants. He and he was fortunate to survive when officers of the
showed that the green parts of plants absorb Imperial Army were at risk. His skills were needed
carbon dioxide and give off oxygen only in the by the Bolsheviks and after a difficult period he
light; in darkness they release carbon dioxide. This worked for Soviet Russia, helping to rebuild its
process, photosynthesis, is perhaps the most fun- chemical industry.
damental reaction of living systems, since it is the By 1929 he began to worry about his own safety in
source of much plant substance, and animal life Soviet Russia and in 1930 left Russia for America. At
depends on the life of plants. Ingen-Housz made a the age of 64 he remade his life and career, learned
number of curious inventions and discoveries. English, was appointed professor of chemistry at
They include: a device for giving oxygen to a patient Northwestern University (Illinois) and acted as con-
with chest disease; a pistol which used an explosive sultant to the Universal Oil Products Company of
mixture of air and diethylether vapour and which Chicago, who established the Ipatieff High Pressure
was fired electrically; a hydrogen-fuelled lighter to Laboratory at Northwestern University, which he
replace the tinderbox; and thin glass microscope directed. In the USA he continued his work on
cover plates. hydrocarbons; he studied their formation, hydro-
Ingold, Sir Christopher (Kelk) (1893–1970) British genation and dehydrogenation, cyclization and iso-
physical organic chemist: developed electronic merization, with the emphasis on high-pressure
theory of organic chemistry. catalysed reactions. Such processes are of great
A student of chemistry at Southampton and importance in the petroleum industry.
London, Ingold spent 2 years in industry before When aged 40, Ipatieff had the unusual experi-
returning to Imperial College London as a ence of meeting his formerly unknown half-
lecturer. In 1924 he became professor at Leeds and brother Lev Chugaeff (1873–1922), also an organic
in 1930 at London, where he stayed. At Leeds he chemist, and they remained good friends.
Isaacs, Alick (1921–67) British virologist: discoverer
developed ideas on the electronics of organic reac-
tions, somewhat parallel to those of Robinson, and of interferon.
much controversy followed. Ingold thereafter A graduate of Glasgow, Isaacs studied at Sheffield
worked on reaction rates and the details of reaction and Melbourne before returning to London and the
mechanism, usually with E D Hughes (1906–63). Virology Division of the National Institute for
Much physical organic research has followed on Medical Research in 1950. He was much concerned
this line and the terminology, at least, has followed with the way viruses apparently interact with each
Ingold’s preference rather than Robinson’s. other and in 1957 he reported on the substance
Ipatieff, Vladimir Nikolayevich [eepatyef] (1867– interferon, which he found to be released from
1952) Russian–US chemist: pioneer of catalytic and cells in response to viral infection and which
isomerization reactions of hydrocarbons. inhibits the replication of viruses. Interferon is now
Ipatieff trained for a military career in Tsarist known to consist of a group of related proteins,
Russia, as was usual for those, like him, from an able to block the action of viral m-RNA. Fuller
aristocratic family. However, he became interested understanding of this action will clearly be of value
in chemistry through the influence of an uncle, in virology and interferons have been used in clini-
and initially was self-taught, with the help of cal trials as anticancer agents; the difficulty of
Mendelayev’s book The Fundamentals of Chemistry. obtaining them has delayed assessment of their
He attended a military school, became an officer of value in therapy.
Issigonis, Alec (1906–88) British engineer: the most
the Imperial Russian Army in 1887 and entered the
Mikhail Artillery Academy (1889–92), studying successful car designer of his time.
chemistry and mathematics. After graduation, he Issigonis’s father had a marine engineering fac-
became an instructor and eventually professor of tory in Smyrna (then in Turkey) and engines were
chemistry at the Academy. He studied in Munich familiar to the boy from childhood; but in 1919
Issigonis, Alec

Smyrna was ceded to Greece, only to be invaded by His answer (the Austin Design Office project 15)
the Turks in 1922. As a result the family fled, first to was to design and produce within 2 years a small car
Malta and then to Britain. Later in the same year with its small wheels close to the four corners, and
Alec was living in London with his widowed with the novel feature of a front transverse engine
mother, as a rather poorly-educated refugee study- and transmission driving the front wheels. The sus-
ing engineering at Battersea Polytechnic. From the pension was an all-independent rubber system
mid-1920s he was working in the motor car indus- designed by A Moulton. The body shape of this ‘Mini
try, then dominated (as it had been from 1900) by Minor’ was functional and distinctive, and surpris-
designs with a petrol engine placed in-line at the ingly roomy for its overall size; and its road-holding,
front and driving the rear wheels. By the mid-1950s stability and freedom from pitching were outstand-
Issigonis had much experience in car design based ing. From its launch in 1959 the Mini dominated the
on these principles, but his most innovative ideas small car market for two decades and even after 25
had been frustrated, mainly by the Second World years its market share was still growing. Its general
War. Then in 1956 the Suez crisis led to petrol short- layout has since become standard for all except
age, and economical but unattractive ‘bubble cars’ large-size motor cars. Issigonis led design teams
appeared. Issigonis was given the task by the British responsible for other successful cars, but none was
Motor Corporation of designing a new and eco- as novel and influential as the Mini. He became a
nomical small car to compete with them; his Fellow of the Royal Society in 1967 and was
response was highly original. knighted in 1969.

Jacobi, Karl Gustav Jacob [yahkohbee] (1804–51) process the US census returns. The pianola was
German mathematician: contributed to the theory another example.
of elliptic functions, analysis, number theory, Although Jacquard’s method became dominant
geometry and mechanics. in textile pattern making, the principle of using
Jacobi was the son of a Jewish banker, and showed punched cards or tape had to await the replace-
wide-ranging talent from childhood. He became a ment of mechanical sensing by electronic comput-
lecturer at Königsberg in 1826 and in 1832 he ers and magnetic tape or discs before, in this much
became a professor there. He encouraged students altered form, it could take a large part in the pow-
to do original work before they had read all the pre- ered machine tool industry.
Jansky, Karl Guthe [yanskee] (1905–50) US radio
vious work on a topic. As he said to one student:
‘Your father would never have married, and you engineer: discovered first astronomical radio
wouldn’t be here now, if he had insisted on know- source.
ing all the girls in the world before marrying one’. Jansky studied physics at Wisconsin and joined
In 1848 he made a brief but disastrous foray into the Bell Telephone Co in 1928. While working for
politics and lost for a time the royal pension on them in 1931 Jansky was given the task of investi-
which he, his wife and seven children lived; in 1851 gating sources of interference to shortwave radio
he died of smallpox. communications. (Causes of static include thun-
Jacobi, together with Abel, created the theory of derstorms and nearby electrical equipment.) Using
elliptic functions, and Jacobi also applied them to a rotatable directional antenna he detected a weak
number theory and developed hyperelliptic func- static emission at a wavelength of about 15 m that
tions. He did research on differential equations and appeared at approximately the same time every
determinants, and Jacobian determinants are now day. He soon demonstrated that it was coming from
used in dynamics and quantum mechanics. the direction of the centre of the Galaxy and sug-
Jacquard, Joseph Marie (1752–1834) French tech- gested in 1932 that it was caused by interstellar ion-
nologist: devised an improved loom incorporating ized gas rather than from the stars. His discovery
control by punched cards, a basic element of did not receive much attention at the time, despite
automation. its potential value (eg radio waves penetrate dust
Jacquard served apprenticeships in bookbinding, clouds, which obscure the centre of the Galaxy for
cutlery making and typefounding and then, inher- optical astronomy), but it was to lead to the devel-
iting from his parents a small weaving business, he opment of radio astronomy after the Second World
attempted to make his living as a weaver. However, War. The unit of radio emission strength is named
after him (1 jansky = 1 W m –2 Hz –1). Jansky did not
weaving patterns attractive enough to sell well was
slow and difficult: his business failed and he continue in radio astronomy, which was kept alive
returned to cutlery. His interest in pattern weaving by Reber until its post-radar expansion after the
remained, and during the 1790s he devised Second World War.
Jeans, Sir James (Hopwood) (1877–1946) British
improvements in looms, as well as taking an active
part on the revolutionary side in the defence of his astrophysicist: pioneer theorist on stellar structure
home town, Lyon. and the origin of the solar system.
By 1801 he was weaving fishing nets on a loom As a talented young mathematician, Jeans was
which combined several improvements, mainly appointed to a chair of applied mathematics at
devised by others. Demonstrated in Paris in 1804, it Princeton in 1905 and worked there for 5 years
impressed Napoleon and led to a medal, a patent before returning to Cambridge. While in the USA
and a pension. Encouraged, he went on to make his he had worked on classical physics, but after 1914
major improvement, which was to be of value out- his research was largely in astrophysics. This began
side textiles. This was his use of cards with punched with his studies on rotating masses of fluid (gases
holes to control cams that directed pattern weav- and liquids, compressible or incompressible) and
ing. Improved further by others, chains of cards their calculated shape and stability, which led him
proved reliable enough before 1820 to cause vio- to theorize on the structure and stability of stars
lence by underemployed traditional weavers, and and on the possible origin of the solar system. His
by the 1830s many were in use. Jacquard’s method ideas on this have not held up to the passage of time
of coding information for manual looms implies but they were valuable in spurring the ideas of
that a hole or its absence can correspond to an ‘on others.
or off’ action – or to 0 and 1 in binary notation. Although he worked at the Mount Wilson
Punched cards were planned by Babbage in the Observatory, CA, from the 1920s, by 1930 he had sur-
1830s to programme his mechanical calculators, prised his friends by turning from research to writ-
and in 1890 Hollerith used 288-hole cards to ing popular accounts of astronomy and cosmology,
Jeffreys, Sir Alec

which were highly successful and made him the A chance match between the prints of two differ-
UK’s best-known scientist. ent people is widely held to have a probability of
Jeffreys, Sir Alec (John) (1950– ) British bio- only about one in a million, although this near-
chemist: originator of DNA fingerprinting. uniqueness has been disputed since 1990 by some
Jeffreys studied biochemistry and biochemical population geneticists; the problem is unresolved.
genetics at Oxford and in 1977 joined the depart- Despite this, many lawyers see the technique as
ment of genetics at the University of Leicester. In ‘the prosecution’s dream and the defence’s night-
that year he discovered, with R Flavell (1945– ), mare’.
Jeffreys, Sir Harold (1891–1989) British geophysi-
the existence of introns in mammalian genes
(introns are sequences of bases within DNA that do cist and astronomer: theoretical seismologist and
not code for a protein). co-author of ‘tidal’ theory of formation of solar
Jeffreys later realized that some very variable, system.
and repeated, parts of the human genome (the full After graduating in mathematics in 1913, Jeffreys
DNA sequence) are highly characteristic of individ- spent his entire academic career at Cambridge. He
uals and so can be used for identification purposes. is best known for his work on the internal structure
The number of these repeats is specific for each of the Earth and in particular on theoretical seis-
individual (except identical twins), half of them mology, his earthquake travel time tables (worked
being inherited from the father and half from the out with K E Bullen (1906–76) in the 1930s) still
mother. The method is valuable in criminal cases being standard. Together with Jeans, Jeffreys pro-
for linking an individual with a scene-of-crime posed the ‘tidal’ theory of the formation of the solar
sample and a variant of it is applicable in some system, in which it was suggested that a passing
paternity and immigration disputes. First proposed star might have drawn a filament of material out of
by Jeffreys in 1984, it was much used in the USA the Sun, from which the planets subsequently con-
from 1987. A DNA profile can be got from a small densed. The theory has since been abandoned in
sample of material (semen, blood or other tissue) favour of much revised versions of Laplace’s nebu-
which may be on clothing and can be years old. The lar theory. Jeffreys also worked on a variety of plan-
sample is extracted to give its DNA; this is frag- etary problems and was a notable opponent of the
mented by enzyme action, the fragments are sepa- theory of continental drift.
Jenner, Edward (1749–1823) British physician and
rated by gel electrophoresis and these are then
radioactively labelled. A bar-code-like pattern, with naturalist: pioneer of vaccination.
its bars differing from one another in density and Jenner, a vicar’s son, was apprenticed to a sur-
spacing and each derived from a DNA fragment, is geon at 13, and at 21 became a pupil of a leading
the result and can be set beside the pattern surgeon and anatomist, J Hunter (1728–93) for 3
obtained by similar treatment of a specimen from, years. They had similar interests and became life-
for example, a suspected rapist. Bars of the same long friends; Jenner did well, and could have con-
size and position in the gels point to the samples tinued in London, but chose to return to his native
having the same genotype. The process can be village (Berkeley, in Gloucestershire) to practise
repeated, say, four times, each time using a radioac- medicine. At that time smallpox was a long-known
tive label for a specific DNA sequence, to give a and feared disease; epidemics were frequent, mor-
‘multilocus genotype’ print. tality was high (typically 20% of those infected) and
survivors were disfigured. It was known that sur-
vivors are immune to reinfection and that inocula-
tion from a patient with a mild attack of the disease
protected against it, but this carried the risk of
severe or fatal illness.
Jenner was told by a patient that country people
who had cowpox (vaccinia; a rather rare disease of the
udders of cows, transmittable to humans and not
severe) did not afterwards become smallpox victims.
Jenner found 10 such cases. In 1796 he took lymph
from a cowpox vesicle on a dairymaid’s finger and
inoculated this into a healthy boy; 6 weeks later he
inoculated him with smallpox matter, but the boy did
not develop smallpox. He went on to show that matter
from the boy (fluid from a vesicle) could be used to
inoculate other individuals and passed by inoculation
from person to person indefinitely without losing its
protective effect. He used a thorn for inoculations.
After finding that the dried vaccine retained its
potency for a few months, he sent a sample to
President Thomas Jefferson, who inoculated his
family and neighbours at Monticello.
The new procedure (‘vaccination’) was widely but
Sir Alec Jeffreys
Johanson, Donald

had closed the loophole that enabled Elizabeth
Garrett Anderson to qualify and practise in Britain.
The Medical Act of 1858 excluded foreign qualifica-
tions from the Medical Register (registration being
needed to practise medicine legally in Britain),
so preventing followers of Elizabeth Blackwell’s
course of entry from practice in England.
Sophia Jex-Blake then began a heated campaign
for acceptance into Edinburgh University to study
medicine. After initial acceptance by the Senate of
separate classes for women, five women, including
Jex-Blake, matriculated in 1869. Difficulties
occurred when tutors were reluctant to teach the
women; they were then refused admittance to the
Royal Infirmary. Students raised a petition against
their admission (a necessary part of their course)
and as Sophia Jex-Blake and the other female stu-
dents attempted to enter Surgeon’s Hall a riot
broke out among students of divided opinion. A
libel action followed in 1871 when Jex-Blake was
accused of leading the riot; she was awarded a far-
thing in damages (and had to pay a legal bill of
nearly ÂŁ1000). After further obstacles she brought a
legal action against the university for not honour-
ing its contract to admit the women to degree
examinations; judgement in their favour was
reversed in 1873 on the grounds that in admitting
Edward Jenner
the women to matriculation the university had
not universally welcomed and by 1800 was much acted ultra vires.
used. In Britain it was made compulsory in 1853, Sophia Jex-Blake had a tempestuous personality,
and this was enforced by 1872. Smallpox became abrasive and emotional. Her battles were a gift to
the first major disease to be fully overcome, at least the newspapers but her struggles and humiliations
in civilized communities; by 1980 it was officially had the value of changing public opinion. In 1874
extinct, as there were no recorded cases. It is now she gathered together a group of sympathetic
known that smallpox (variola) is one of a group of people to form the London School of Medicine for
related pox diseases, whose causal agent is a rather Women, which opened in 1874 with a staff of lec-
large virus of high virulence. Inoculation of the turers including Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.
cowpox virus causes production of antibodies effec- However Jex-Blake’s personality made her unsuit-
tive against smallpox for a period of several years. able to serve as secretary and she was not qualified
Jenner was a keen naturalist, with a special inter- to teach; she became an active spur on its council.
est in birds: he was the first to show that some birds It was the quiet, diplomatic Elizabeth Garrett
migrated (rather than hibernated) in winter, and Anderson who was appointed dean in 1883. In 1876
he studied the unusual brood-parasite nesting of the Russell Gurney Enabling Act went through
the cockoo. He classified the plants from Cook’s Parliament allowing medical examining bodies to
first expedition. He also wrote anti-slavery songs; test women. Clinical work was secured when the
he was highly regarded by Napoleon (who had his (Royal) Free Hospital admitted women students in
army inoculated) and by the British government, 1877. Later that year the King and Queen’s College
which awarded him ÂŁ30 000 for his work on vacci- of Physicians, Dublin, agreed to act as examiners
nation. and in 1877 Sophia Jex-Blake and her four co-
Jex-Blake, Sophia (Louisa) (1840–1912) British students from Edinburgh graduated.
physician: pioneer for medical education for Sophia Jex-Blake settled in Scotland and practised
women in Britain. medicine in Edinburgh; in 1886 she organized a
Sophia Jex-Blake was born in Hastings, the youn- medical school for women there, again amid con-
gest daughter of Thomas Jex-Blake, a lawyer. Her troversy. It was not until 1894 that the University of
brother Thomas William became headmaster of Edinburgh admitted women to graduate in medi-
Rugby and dean of Wells. She studied at Queen’s cine. (See panel overleaf.)
Johanson, Donald (1943– ) US palaeoanthropolo-
College for Women in London and became tutor in
mathematics there (1859–61). In 1865 she went to gist: discovered Australopithecus afarensis, the oldest
the USA to study medicine at Boston with Lucy hominid yet found.
Sewall and Elizabeth Blackwell, but returned to After graduating in anthropology from the Univer-
England on the death of her father in 1869. sity of Chicago in 1966, Johanson conducted research
She found that medical schools in England would in Chicago and Alaska before joining an archaeo-
not admit women, and the Society of Apothecaries logical expedition to the Omo River, southern
Panel: The entry of women into medicine

THE ENTRY OF WOMEN (1769–1821), succeeded her mother as head midwife
INTO MEDICINE at the HĂ´tel Dieu in Paris; her Pratique des accouche-
ments (1821–25, Practice of Obstetrics) contained
The first formal European school of medicine was at statistical tables compiled from 50 000 case-studies.
Salerno in southern Italy; women both studied and Marie Anne Victorine Boivin (née Gillain)
taught there. The most famous among them was (1773–1847), who was educated by nuns at a hospi-
Trotula (d.1097?), whose Passionibus mulierum tal in Etampes, was Lachapelle’s student and assis-
curandorum (1547, The Diseases of Women) became tant and her successor. Her work on diseases of the
a standard medical textbook until the 16th-c. She uterus, published in 1833, was used as a textbook for
classified diseases as inherited, contagious and many years. She was awarded an honorary degree by
‘other’. Formal education in medicine, especially for the University of Marbourg, and the Order of Merit by
women, became increasingly difficult in Europe. In the King of Prussia.
France women had studied and taught medicine at The first woman to be awarded a medical degree
Montpellier, but by 1239 Montpellier had followed in Germany was DOROTHEA ERXLEBEN, in 1754. Taught
the example of the University of Paris, and excluded by her physician father alongside her brother, she
women. Many universities founded in the 12th- and petitioned Frederick II of Prussia for permission to
13th-c also debarred women; licences to practise enter the University of Halle. Her success prompted
medicine were restricted; Pope Sixtus IV (reigned what was to become the familiar expressions of
1471–84) forbade the practice of medicine by those outrage, shock and horror at the idea of women prac-
who were not university graduates. However some tising medicine. It was 1901 before another woman
women midwives, physicians and surgeons did graduated from the University of Halle’s School of
practise in France, Germany, Italy and Britain. Many Medicine. Charlotte von Siebold Heidenreich
studied with a relative and followed their profession. (1788–1859) was awarded a degree in obstetrics at
In 1390 Dorotea Bocchi succeeded her father as the University of Giessen in 1817 and later became
professor of medicine and moral philosophy at the professor there; in 1819 she delivered the future
University of Bologna. In England, the dissolution of Queen Victoria. German universities did not admit
the monasteries deprived the poor of nursing care women as medical undergraduates until 1908,
and women of an avenue of medical training; while although they admitted women with ‘foreign’ diplo-
wars, witch-hunts and constitutional crises mas for further study in 1869. In Switzerland the first
prevented progress in the medical education of woman graduated in 1868; Sweden gave women
women. permission to practise medicine in 1870 and its first
In the liberal University of Bologna, Anna Morandi woman graduated in 1888; the University of Copen-
Manzolini (1716–74) the wife of the professor of hagen’s faculty of medicine accepted women in
anatomy, became his assistant in the construction of 1877, and its first woman graduated in 1885;
anatomical models. During his illness she lectured in Norway, by Act of Parliament, opened its doors to
his place, with the consent of the university, and on women in 1884 and its first female graduated in
his death was elected, without a degree, as professor 1893. In the Netherlands Aletta Jacobs graduated in
and modellatrice to the chair of anatomy in 1750. Her 1878. In 1889 the first women graduated in Spain
work became internationally famous. Maria della and Portugal.
Donne (1776–1842) obtained her degree in medicine At least one woman did not wait for the barriers to
in 1799; Napoleon appointed her professor of obstet- lift. James Miranda Steuart Barry (1795–1865) was
rics in 1802. In 1804 she became director of the the name used by a woman who, disguised as a man,
School for Midwives and a member of the French graduated from Edinburgh University in 1812. She
Academy in 1807. continued the deception as a male army surgeon until
In France from the 16th-c, obstetrics began to her death, attaining the rank of Inspector-General of
develop as a science. At the forefront was Louyse Army Hospitals. Her identity remains something of a
Bourgeois (1553–1638) a friend and pupil of mystery. That she had influential help in her decep-
Ambroise Paré (c.1510–90); her husband was an tion is evident in the intervention of the Earl of
assistant to Paré. She was midwife to Queen Marie Buchan on her behalf when the University Senate
de Medici through seven deliveries and wrote a major proposed withholding her degree on the grounds of
treatise on obstetrics in 1609, the most comprehen- her apparent youth, and later on her entry into Army
sive since that by Trotula. It was based on personal service, when the physical examination was waived.
observations of 2000 cases; 12 presentations and the During her service at the Cape of Good Hope Barry
rules for the delivery of each type were described. She performed a successful caesarean operation. She was
also gave instruction on cleanliness and on avoiding appointed Inspector-General of Hospitals for Upper
cross-infections. Marie Louise Lachapelle and Lower Canada in 1857, and so was the first

Panel: The entry of women into medicine

woman to practise medicine in Canada, albeit as a Parliament in 1876 to enable medical bodies legally
man. to admit women. No examining body or hospital
ELIZABETH BLACKWELL was the first woman to grad- would accept the women students and the school
uate in medicine in America in 1849, as the result of faced closure in 1877. Then clinical teaching was
an error by Geneva College, a recognized medical arranged with the Royal Free Hospital; the King’s and
school. The application from a woman to study medi- Queen’s College, Dublin, recognized the teaching
cine was thought to be a joke perpetrated by another course at LSMW and was the examining body. Sophia
college and was accepted in like spirit; however Jex-Blake and four women co-students gained
when she appeared, the college honoured the con- degrees from the King and Queen’s College of
tract. Her attempts to practise medicine in the USA Physicians of Dublin in 1877. The University of
were blocked: no dispensary or hospital would allow Edinburgh accepted women as medical students in
her to see patients and she turned to Europe for 1894.
further training in London and Paris. She opened a LSMW might not have formed without Jex-Blake’s
dispensary for destitute women and children, the energetic, albeit tempestuous nature, and might not
New York Infirmary for Women and Children in 1853 have survived without Garrett Anderson’s profession-
and the Women’s Medical College (1868–99). In alism and soothing diplomacy among male support-
1858 the British Medical Council was formed, and ers. Garrett Anderson worked for the students of
because she held a medical degree and had practised LSMW to be accepted into the University of London
medicine in England before this date, Blackwell’s and in 1878 all faculties were opened to women. The
name appeared on the British Medical Register in first women to qualify in medicine were Mary
1859. In 1869 she returned to practise medicine in Scharlieb and Edith Shove in 1883; the LSMW
Britain. Nancy Clark (1825–1901) received a medical became a college of the University of London. Due to
degree from Cleveland Medical College, the Medical Britain’s political position in the world, the LSMW
Department of Western Reserve College, in 1852, had an influential role in the medical education of the
although when she applied to the Massachusetts women of India, Burma, South Africa and East and
Medical Society they refused to license her on the West Africa. From the Far East woman at first trained
grounds that she was a woman. It was 1876 before at LSMW or at the Women’s Medical College of
the first woman was admitted to the American Pennsylvania in the USA; they are now accepted
Medical Association. Across the USA the medical in all medical faculties in Singapore, Malaysia
schools began to open their doors to women by the and Thailand.
end of the 19th-c. By 1894 about 10% of students at Elizabeth Garrett Anderson also worked against
18 medical schools were women. The first Canadian the General Medical Council’s proposal for a separate
woman to gain a medical degree from a Canadian Medical Register for women and she proposed
school was Augusta Stowe-Gullen, who graduated uniform standards in medicine, surgery and obstet-
via the Toronto School of Medicine in 1883. rics for all candidates. The first female Fellow of the
In England ELIZABETH GARRETT ANDERSON acquired Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Ireland, England and
her qualification to practise medicine by finding that Edinburgh was admitted in 1910; the Royal College
the wording of the charter of the Society of of Physicians of London amended its regulations in
Apothecaries did not specifically exclude women. She 1926 and elected its first female Fellow in 1934.
was awarded a diploma from the Society in 1865, In New Zealand there were six medical students by
which enabled her to get her name added to the 1896 and in Australia the first women graduated in
British Medical Register, and so to practise medicine. medicine in the 1890s. In India there was a great
She became the first woman to gain a medical degree need for qualified women doctors to treat segregated
at the University of Paris in 1870, after the university women. Mary Scharlieb, from Madras, one of the first
opened its medical school to women in 1868. to graduate from the LSMW, so impressed Queen
By the time SOPHIA JEX-BLAKE and others wished to Victoria with the needs of her Indian subjects that a
enter the medical profession the Society of fund was set up to provide many small hospitals and
Apothecaries had closed the opening for women and clinics, all staffed by women. In 1894 the North India
holders of foreign degrees were by then excluded School of Medicine for Christian Women was
from the British Medical Register. Jex-Blake’s battles founded and trained hundreds of nurses, midwives,
to enter the Edinburgh University medical course dispensers and doctors. The first Indian girls entered
were reported in the newspapers and her treatment LSMW in 1894 and returned to serve in civil hospitals
gradually changed public opinion. In 1874, with a and the Indian Women’s Medical Service. Women are
group of sympathetic people, including Elizabeth now admitted to all medical faculties in India and
Garrett Anderson, she formed the London School of Pakistan, with separate schools where custom
Medicine for Women (LSMW). It took an Act of demands.

Joliot, Frédéric

The First World War gave women the opportunity magnificent funeral in Edinburgh and a hospital was
to prove their value; 20% of British women doctors named after her. The conduct and courage of medical
volunteered and served in the medical services, also women in the First World War was one of the most
women from Canada, Australia and New Zealand. important contributions to the granting of women’s
They were not, however, accepted by the War Office suffrage in the UK.
to work at the front. Louisa Garrett Anderson (daugh- After the war, the now increasing number of
ter of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson) equipped a hospi- women qualifying in medicine (78 in 1917, 602 in
tal staffed by women; this was not taken seriously by 1921) were finding, like CICELY WILLIAMS, that getting
the establishment but was accepted by the French a medical post was almost impossible, because
Red Cross. Dr Elsie Inglis (1864–1917) founded the returning ex-servicemen were given priority. Williams
Scottish Women’s Hospitals, staffed entirely by eventually joined the Colonial Service and went to
women, including surgeons, and offered its services the Gold Coast. After 7 years in Africa she was moved
to the War Office. When this was turned down (with to Malaya, was trapped by the Japanese invasion of
the reply, ‘Go sit quietly at home, dear lady’), Dr Inglis Singapore and was imprisoned in Changi jail, where
took the first Scottish Women’s Hospital Unit to she survived its form of interrogation.
Serbia, and her colleagues also served with great effi- In the Second World War the Royal Army Medical
ciency in France, Corsica, Salonika, Romania, Russia Corps women had uniforms, equivalent ranks and
and Malta. By 1916 the War Office began to recruit equal pay. The British women civilian doctors had
women doctors for service abroad. By the end of the testing medical duties in many theatres of war; some
war there were 85 women doctors serving in Malta, served with the Resistance in the occupied territories.
36 in Egypt, 21 in France and 39 in Salonika; These women demonstrated the worth of their claim
however, unlike the men, they were not given com- to be treated with equality. The present position is
missions. The war made it easier for women to be that women are strongly represented among medical
accepted by the medical hospitals and increased their students and graduates, less strongly in junior posts,
experience of surgery, epidemic diseases, war and hardly at all at senior levels in the medical
wounds and the effects of war gases. Dr Inglis’s col- profession in the UK.
leagues received some of the highest decorations
from France and Serbia, while she was merely given a

Ethiopia, from 1970–2. He then turned his atten- Foreseeing the consequences of the nuclear fis-
tion to Afar, in north-eastern Ethiopia, where he sion of uranium discovered by others in 1939, Joliot
and Maurice Taieb had found fossil-bearing beds of secured from Norway the world’s major stock (less
considerable age. In 1973 he discovered the than 200 kg) of heavy water (D2O; used as a moder-
remains of a knee joint of a previously unknown ator in early atomic piles) and, when France was
hominid in deposits over 3 million years old, at that invaded in 1940, he arranged for it to be sent to the
time the earliest conclusive evidence of man’s UK. After the war, as their leading nuclear physi-
bipedalism. A partial skeleton of Australopithecus cist, he directed work on France’s first atomic pile,
afarensis was found by Johanson the following year, which operated in 1948; but his successes became
a female of about 20 years of age and 1.2 m in confused by his showmanship, his need for adula-
height which he nicknamed ‘Lucy’ and which was tion and his politics (he had been President of the
then the earliest known ancestor of man, about 3.1 National Front and had formed the French
million years old and so almost a million years Communist Party), and he was removed from his
more ancient than any other hominid then known. post as high commissioner for atomic energy in
Her name was taken from a Beatles’ song. 1950.
Joliot, Frédéric [zholyoh] (1900–58) French nuclear Joliot-Curie, Irène [zholyoh küree] (1897–1956)
physicist: co-discoverer of artificially-induced radio- French nuclear physicist: co-discoverer of artifi-
activity. cially-induced radioactivity.
Trained in science in Paris, Joliot became assis- Irène, daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie, had a
tant to Marie Curie in 1925 and soon proved his unique education; she was taught at home, in
skill as an experimenter. Mme Curie’s elder daugh- physics by her mother, in maths by Langevin and in
ter Irène was already her assistant in the Radium chemistry by Perrin. In the First World War she
Institute, and she and Joliot married in 1926. (After served as a radiographer, then inadequately pro-
his marriage, he took the name Joliot-Curie.) Their tected against radiation; later, she became a victim,
personalities were very different, he an extrovert, like her mother, of leukaemia, fairly certainly
she very diffident. Only in 1931 did they begin to because of exposure to radiation, which eventually
collaborate in research, with notable success. They killed them both.
also perpetuated a family tradition; their daughter In the 1930s she did notable work on artificial
Hélène (1927– ) became a nuclear physicist and radioactivity with her husband F Joliot, for which
married a physicist grandson of Langevin. they shared the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935.
Joule, James

In the Second World War she escaped to equations. Jordan published a classic on group
Switzerland and in 1946 became director of the theory, Traité de substitutions, in 1870. He advanced
Radium Institute and a director of the French symmetrical groups, and reduced the linear differ-
Atomic Energy Commission. Her work in the 1930s ential equations of order n to a group theoretic
with Joliot led them in late 1933 to make the first problem. Finally, he generalized Hermite’s work
artificial radioelement by bombarding aluminium on the theory of quadratic forms with integral coef-
with alpha-particles (helium nuclei, 2He), which gave ficients. Jordan inspired Klein and Lie to pursue
a novel radioisotope of phosphorus. Similar methods novel research on group theory. Topology also
then led them and others to make a range of novel interested Jordan and he devised homological or
radioisotopes, some of which have proved of great combinatorial topology by investigating symme-
value in research, in medicine and in industry. tries in polyhedra.
Joly, John (1857–1933) Irish geologist and physicist. Jordan, Ernst Pascual [yordan] (1902–80) German
Joly studied a range of sciences and engineering theoretical physicist and one of the founders of
at Trinity College, Dublin, became professor of quantum mechanics.
geology there in 1897 and held this post until his Jordan grew up in Hanover, where he took his
death. Early in his career he devised the steam first degree, moving to Göttingen for his doctorate.
calorimeter always linked with his name; he used it He gained a post at the University of Rostock in
to find the specific heat of minerals and, for the 1929 and became professor of physics there in 1935.
first time, the specific heat of gases at constant Chairs of physics at Berlin (1944) and Hamburg
volume. (1951) followed.
Halley had proposed from 1693 that the age of At 23 Jordan collaborated with Born and then
the Earth (since water condensed on it) could be Heisenberg, setting out the theory of quantum
deduced from the rate at which the salt content of mechanics using matrix methods (1926). Later he
the oceans is increased by leaching of the salt of contributed to the quantum mechanics of elec-
land masses by water, which rivers carry to the seas; tron–photon interactions, now called quantum
he doubted both the age of a few thousand years electrodynamics, while it was in its early stages of
deduced from the Bible and the idea that the Earth development. Another area in which he published
was eternal. In 1899 Joly used Halley’s methods, by significant research was gravitation.
Josephson, Brian David (1940– ) British theoret-
measuring the rate of increase of oceanic sodium
content, and arrived at an age of 80–90 × 106 years. ical physicist: discovered tunnelling between
Although now seen as far too short a time, Joly’s superconductors.
estimate was valuable then in supporting the geol- Josephson studied at Cambridge and remained to
ogist’s need for a much longer period than that become a professor of physics (1974). He discovered
given by Kelvin’s work from 1862 based on the sup- the Josephson effect while still a research student
posed rate of radiative cooling. In 1903 Joly pointed (1962), by considering two superconducting
out that radioactivity (then recently discovered) regions separated by a thin region of insulator (per-
would provide terrestrial heating and so affect haps 1–2 nm thick). He showed theoretically that a
Kelvin’s calculation. current can flow between the two with no applied
Soon afterwards new estimates of the Earth’s age voltage as a result of electron tunnelling and that
were made based on the rate of radioactive decay of when a DC voltage is applied an AC current of fre-
uranium to lead and the U:Pb ratio in old rocks. Joly quency proportional to the voltage is produced.
aided this work in 1907 by showing that the dark Experimental verification of this effect by J M
rings (pleochroic halos) found in some minerals Rowell and P W Anderson at Bell Telephone
had been formed by radioactive inclusions within Laboratories supported the BCS theory which
them. He went on to use these microscopic halos Josephson had used. The application of a small
present in rocks of differing geological age to show magnetic field across the junction sensitively alters
that radioactive decay had occurred at a constant the current. Such Josephson junctions have been
rate during geological time. Only after Joly’s work used to measure accurately h/e, voltage and mag-
could geological dating by radioactivity have a log- netic fields, and in fast switching devices for com-
ically secure basis. puters. Josephson shared a Nobel Prize in 1973.
Jordan, (Marie-Ennemond) Camille [zhordĂŁ] Since then his interests have moved to psychic phe-
(1838–1922) French mathematician: a major con- nomena and to music.
Joule, James (Prescott) [jowl] (1818–89) British
tributor to group theory.
Jordan trained as an engineer at the École physicist; established the mechanical theory of heat.
Polytechnique, and as an engineer pursued mathe- Joule grew up in a wealthy Manchester brewing
matics in his spare time. At 35 he joined the math- family, a shy and delicate child. He received home
ematical staff of the École Polytechnique and tuition from Dalton in elementary science and
taught at the Collège de France. mathematics. He was attracted to physics and espe-
Jordan absorbed the ideas of the ill-fated Galois cially to the problems of heat and began experi-
and developed a rigorous theory of finite, and then mental work in a laboratory near the brewery.
infinite, groups. He linked permutation groups and Joule’s skill enabled him to measure heat and tem-
Galois’s study of permuting the roots (solutions) of perature changes accurately and he was later
equations to the problem of solving polynomial encouraged to pursue his work by W Thomson.
Joule, James

1840s but in an unclear form, and W Thomson and
Helmholtz also were major contributors, but Joule
made it a precise and explicit concept. The amount
of mechanical work required to produce a given
amount of heat was determined by Joule in 1843.
He measured the small amount of heat produced in
water by the rotation of paddles driven by falling
Thomson and Joule collaborated for 7 years from
1852 in a series of experiments, mainly on the
Joule–Thomson effect, whereby an expanding gas
is cooled as work is done to separate the molecules.
Joule also produced a paper on the kinetic theory of
gases that included the first estimation of the speed
of gas molecules (1848). He was over-modest and
made himself into an assistant to Thomson rather
than following his own lines of thought; and he
became unwell when he was 55 and did little more
Joule remains one of the foremost experimenta-
James Joule
lists of his century; his main work was done before
he was 30, on one problem of great importance, the
When he was 18, Joule began his study of the heat mechanical equivalent of heat. He attacked this
developed by an electric current and by 1840 he had with ingenuity, made precise measurements and
deduced the law connecting the current and resis- tenaciously located sources of error. The SI unit of
tance of a wire to the heat generated (Joule’s Law). energy, the joule (J) (pronounced ‘jool’) is the ener-
Between 1837 and 1847 his work established the gy expended when the point of application of a
principle of conservation of energy and the equiva- force of 1 newton moves through 1 metre in the
direction of the force, so 1 J = 1 Nm = 1 kg m2 s –2.
lence of heat and other forms of energy. J R Mayer
(1814–78) arrived at the idea of conservation in the Heat and work are measured in the same units.

Kamerlingh-Onnes, Heike [kamerlingk awnes] which he argued that attractive forces could act at
(1853–1926) Dutch physicist: liquefied helium for a distance without the necessity for a transmitting
the first time and discovered superconductivity. medium. He also suggested (correctly) that the
Kamerlingh-Onnes studied physics at Groningen Milky Way was a lens-shaped collection of stars and
and then spent 2 years in Heidelberg studying that tidal friction slowed Earth’s rotation. Less
under Bunsen and Kirchhoff. His special interest wisely, he was convinced that the planets were pop-
was then in finding new proofs of the Earth’s rota- ulated, with the most superior intellects on planets
tion, but after he became professor at Leiden in most distant from the Sun.
Kapitsa, Piotr Leonidovitch [kapitsa] (1894–1984)
1882 he concentrated on the properties of matter at
low temperatures. Dewar had liquefied nitrogen, Russian physicist: experimenter on high magnetic
and by cooling hydrogen with this and using the fields and low temperatures.
Joule–Thomson effect he had obtained liquid Son of one general (an engineer) and grandson of
hydrogen. Kamerlingh-Onnes used an improved another, Kapitsa studied electrical engineering at
apparatus and similar principles. In 1908, by cool- the Petrograd Polytechnic (St Petersburg), gradu-
ing helium with liquid hydrogen to about 18 K, and ated in 1918, and continued there as a lecturer for
then using the Joule–Thomson effect (the cooling 3 years. In 1919 his first wife and two children died
of a gas when it expands through a nozzle), he in the famine following the revolution, and in 1921
obtained liquid helium, which he found to boil at the unhappy young man visited England and
4.25 K. If it was boiled rapidly by pressure reduction secured a place in Rutherford’s Cambridge labo-
the temperature fell to just below 1 K, but it did not ratory. Both were energetic, outspoken and tal-
solidify. In 1911 he found that metals such as mer- ented experimentalists, who formed a high regard
cury, tin and lead at very low temperatures became for each other. Kapitsa became a popular figure,
superconductors, with near-zero electrical resis- adventurous, ingenious and with wide-ranging
tance. He won the Nobel Prize in 1913 for his work interests.
in low temperature physics, which he dominated After completing his PhD he began to work inde-
until he retired in 1923. A theoretical explanation pendently, on the problem of obtaining very high
of superconductivity had to wait until the work of magnetic fields. For this he designed and built cir-
Bardeen and others in 1957. cuits which passed currents of 10 000 A or more
Kant, Immanuel (1724–1804) German philosopher: through a small coil for 0.01 s or less, a time shorter
had influential ideas on cosmology. than it would take the coil to burn out. By 1924 he
Although primarily known for his work in philos- could in this way obtain field strengths of up to
ophy, in 1755 Kant proposed the nebular hypothe- 50 T, which he used in studies on the properties of
sis for the formation of the solar system that was materials in high fields. The electrical resistance of
later to be developed and made famous by Laplace. metals increases in high fields, and this effect
More influential was Kant’s work on gravitation, in increases at low temperatures, so Kapitsa turned

Piotr Kapitsa (left) as best man at the wedding of James
Immanuel Kant Chadwick (right, holding glove).
Kármán, Theodore von

his ingenuity to the design of an improved liquefier tic missiles, aerofoil profiles, jet-assisted take-off
for helium. His work went so well that a new labo- and supersonic flight, was important in enabling
ratory building (the Mond) was built for his work the USA to become a world leader in the aerospace
and opened in 1933. (He had the sculptor Eric Gill industry.
Karrer, Paul [karer] (1889–1971) Swiss organic
carve a crocodile over its entrance; it was not until
1966, revisiting his laboratory, that he admitted chemist: best known for work on carotenoids and
that this represented Rutherford.) By 1934 his new vitamins.
method for making liquid helium allowed him to Karrer was born in Moscow. His father was a
study its strange properties; he discovered that it Swiss dentist and he returned with his parents to
conducts heat better than copper, and it shows the Swiss countryside when he was 3; in 1908
superfluidity, ie apparent complete loss of viscos- he began to study chemistry at ZĂĽrich under
ity, below 2.2 K. (Later, his friend Landau was able A Werner. His DPhil work with him was in in-
to explain these properties of helium II.) organic chemistry, and afterwards he worked with
Also in 1934 he returned to the USSR to visit his Ehrlich in Frankfurt on organo-arsenic com-
mother and he was not allowed to leave, despite pounds for use in chemotherapy. In 1919 he suc-
protests from the West. Soon, he learned (from ceeded Werner and remained in ZĂĽrich thereafter,
reading Pravda) that he had been made head of a working on organic natural products of several
new and luxurious Institute for Physical Problems kinds.
near Moscow. His equipment was sent to him from In 1926 he began work on natural pigments, con-
Cambridge, and his wife (he had remarried) was centrating on the carotenoids, which are complex
allowed to return to the UK for their children. One molecules containing many C=C bonds and includ-
of his colleagues was Landau, who was arrested in ing lycopene (C40H56, from tomatoes), the caro-
the 1930s and accused of being ‘an enemy of the tenes, the vitamins A1 and A2 and retinene, the
state’. Kapitsa protested forcefully and success- light-sensitive pigment of the eye. In the 1930s his
fully: Landau, unusually, survived. masterly studies of these closely related com-
From 1939 Kapitsa worked on liquid air and pounds revealed their structures, which he con-
oxygen, which aided Soviet steel production. He firmed in many cases by synthesis (eg of vitamin A1,
did not work on atomic weapons, and wrote to C20H29OH, in 1931). He also worked on other vita-
Stalin in 1946 criticizing the competence of the mins (B2 and E), on alkaloids and on coenzymes. He
notorious Beria, head of the NKVD (secret police) as shared a Nobel Prize in 1937 with W N Haworth
director of the programme. For this he was exiled to (1883–1950) who, during a 23-year period as pro-
house arrest in the country, where he worked on fessor at Birmingham, did notable work on the
high temperature physics and on ball lightning (a chemistry of polysaccharides such as starch and
type of plasma) aided by his sons; after 8 years cellulose, and on the synthesis of ascorbic acid
Stalin was dead and Beria executed, and Kapitsa (vitamin C).
Kekulé, Friedrich August [kaykuhlay] (1829–96)
was restored to his post and worked on plasmas.
Soon he was permitted visitors, and in his 70s was German organic chemist; founder of structural
allowed to travel. In 1929 he had been elected a organic chemistry, and proposer of ring structure
Fellow of the Royal Society (the first foreigner for for benzenoid compounds.
200 years) and in 1978 he shared a Nobel Prize for Kekulé began his student career in architecture
his work in low temperature physics. at Giessen, but he heard Liebig give evidence in a
Kármán, Theodore von kah(r)man] (1881–1963) murder trial and was attracted to his chemistry lec-
Hungarian–US physicist: discovered Kármán vor- tures. Later he studied in Paris and London. He
tices. claimed that the key idea of organic molecular
Von Kármán studied engineering at the Budapest structure came to him in a daydream, on the upper
Technical University and at the University of deck of a London bus. His theory (1858) adopted
Göttingen. He subsequently became director of Frankland’s idea of valence; that each type of atom
the Aachen Institute and of the Guggenheim can combine with some fixed number of other
Aeronautical Laboratory of the California Institute atoms or groups. Kekulé proposed that this
of Technology; he was instrumental in setting up ‘valence’ for carbon atoms is four. He also proposed
the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at CalTech and was a that carbon atoms could be linked together to form
leading figure in a number of international scien- stable chains, which was a new and vital idea.
tific organizations. After 1930 he was largely in the It only needed the further idea, gradually devel-
USA. oped by many chemists, that these structural for-
An outstanding theoretical aerodynamicist, von mulae based on carbon chains represented
Kármán discovered the two rows of vortices in the molecular reality, for organic chemical theory to
wake generated by fluid flow around a cylinder, make the largest step in its history: for these struc-
known as Kármán vortices, and together forming a ture diagrams, as the formulae became, could be
Kármán vortex street. Kármán vortices are impor- deduced from the chemical and physical properties
tant factors in aerodynamics, as they can create of the compound. From the diagram, in turn, new
destructive vibrations. (The destruction by wind of properties could be predicted; and so these molec-
the Tecoma Narrows Bridge in 1940 also had this ular structures became the fruitful focus of every
cause.) His work, which included long-range ballis- organic chemist’s thinking. In the hands of Baeyer
Kendall, Edward Calvin

basis for the new organic chemical industry
making dyes and drugs from coal tar products. This
was his proposal of 1865, that the six-carbon
nucleus of benzene consisted of not a chain but a
closed ring of carbon atoms. In benzene each
carbon atom carries a hydrogen atom, but one or
more of these can be replaced by other atoms or
groups to give a vast range of compounds (see dia-
gram). As with his structure theory, Kekulé was
anticipated by Couper in the idea of a cyclic mole-
cule, but the latter’s illness ensured Kekulé’s supe-
rior place in developing the theory and securing his
Kelvin, William Thomson, Baron see Thomson
Kendall, Edward Calvin (1886–1972) US bio-
chemist: pioneer of corticosteroid biochemistry.
Kendall studied chemistry at Columbia Univer-
sity, New York and afterwards worked mainly at the
Mayo Foundation in Rochester, MN. During the
First World War he isolated from the thyroid gland
a new amino acid, thyroxin. This contains iodine,
and it is a component of the thyroid hormone (thy-
roglobulin) that partly controls the rate of the
body’s metabolism. Kendall went on to study the
hormones of the cortex (outer part) of the adrenal
glands. In the 1930s he isolated a series of steroids
from this source; one of them (Kendall’s compound
E, later named cortisone) was shown by his co-
worker P S Hench (1896–1965) to relieve the symp-
F A Kekulé, aged 33
toms of rheumatoid arthritis. During the Second
especially, experimental work on this basis pushed World War there was a belief that the Germans
ahead. The ideas of structural theory became well were buying adrenal glands from Argentinian
known through Kekulé’s lectures in Ghent (from slaughterhouses and using extracts from them to
1858) and then at Bonn (from 1867) and from his help their pilots fly at great heights. The rumour
textbook (1859). was false, but it led to intensified study and by 1943
Kekulé contributed little as an experimentalist, no fewer than 23 corticosteroids had been isolated
but his second gift to theory did much to form a in the USA or in Switzerland, and Kendall and others



Kekulé structure abbreviated aspirin (analgesic) sulphanilamide
for benzene structure of benzene (antibacterial)


CH = C (CN) 2

Cl Cl

NO2 Cl NO2

picric acid CS (harassing agent)
TNT (high explosive) 2,4,5-T (herbicide)
(explosive and dye)

Structure diagrams for benzene and some derivatives
Kepler, Johannes

had devised synthetic routes to make related com- where he propounded his third law of planetary
pounds. Since then, corticosteroids have been motion: that the squares of the planetary periods
much used to treat inflammatory, allergic and are proportional to the cubes of their mean dis-
rheumatic diseases. In 1950 the Nobel Prize for tances from the Sun. These three laws gave a sound
medicine or physiology was shared by Kendall, basis for all later work on the solar system.
Hench and T Reichstein (1897–1996), who had Kepler also wrote a book on the problems of mea-
worked on these compounds at ZĂĽrich. suring the volumes of liquids in wine casks that
Kepler, Johannes (1571–1630) German astronomer was to be influential in the evolution of infinitesi-
and physicist: discovered laws of planetary motion. mal calculus.
Kerr, John (1824–1907) British physicist: discovered
Kepler had smallpox at the age of 3, damaging his
eyesight and the use of his hands, which makes his the electro-optical and magneto-optical Kerr
achievements, as the son of a mercenary, the more effects.
remarkable. Kepler read and approved the work of Kerr was educated at the University of Glasgow,
Copernicus while studying theology at TĂĽbingen, becoming a research student with Lord Kelvin (W
intending originally to go into the church. He Thomson), and working with him in the converted
became a teacher of mathematics in the Protestant wine cellar known as ‘the coal hole’. He later
Seminary at Graz in Austria. In 1600, having been became a lecturer in mathematics at the Free
forced to leave his teaching post due to the reli- Church Training College for Teachers in Glasgow,
gious persecution of Protestants, he was invited to continuing his research in his free time.
join Brahe in Prague, who assigned him the task of Kerr is best remembered for the effect that bears
working out the orbit of Mars. Brahe died 2 years his name. In 1875 he showed that birefringence
later, leaving Kepler his 20-year archive of astro- (double refraction) occurs in some materials such
nomical observations. In 1609, having failed to fit as glass when subjected to a high electric field.
Brahe’s observations of Mars into the perfectly cir- With great experimental skill he showed that the
cular orbits of the Copernican cosmology, he for- size of the effect is proportional to the square of the
mulated Kepler’s first two laws of planetary field strength; the electro-optical Kerr effect is used
motion: that planets follow elliptical orbits with today as the basis for ultra-fast optical shutters
(c.10–10 s), using a Kerr cell in which a liquid (eg
the Sun at one focus and that the line joining a
planet to the Sun, as it moves, sweeps through nitrobenzene) undergoes birefringence. He also dis-
equal areas in equal times. At last understanding covered the magneto-optical Kerr effect, in which
the principles of planetary motion, Kepler then pro- plane-polarized light reflected from the polished
ceeded with the more onerous but valuable task of pole of an electromagnet becomes elliptically
completing the ‘Rudolphine Tables’, the tabulation polarized; the effect has been used in the study of
of Brahe’s results for his sponsor Emperor Rudolph, domain structure and other magnetic properties of
a job which he did not complete until 1627. A fine ferromagnetic materials.
Kettlewell, Henry Bernard Davis (1907–79)
scientist, he was also a mystic and astrologer, cast
horoscopes and believed in the ‘music of the British lepidopterist and geneticist: experimented
spheres’ (from the planets). to confirm Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
In 1611 civil war broke out, Rudolph was deposed A medical graduate who practised in England
and Kepler’s wife and child died. He moved to Linz, and worked on locust control in South Africa,
Kettlewell’s best-known work was done as an Oxford
geneticist in the 1950s. He noted that many species
of peppered moth that in the mid-19th-c were light
in colour had became dark by the 1950s. He deduced
that the darkening (melanism) was related to the
darkening of the tree stems on which the moths
remained by day, by industrial smoke. This would
cause dark forms to survive predation by birds more
successfully. To test his idea, he released light and
dark forms of one moth (Biston betularia) in large
numbers in both a polluted wood near Birmingham
and an unpolluted wood. Recapture of many of the
moths after an interval confirmed that the light
form survived best in the unpolluted wood and the
converse in the Birmingham wood. This result,
claimed to confirm Darwinism, was later seen to be
statistically inadequate.
Khorana, Har Gobind [korahnah] (1922– )
Indian–US molecular biologist: co-discoverer of
genetic code and first synthesizer of a gene.
Educated at universities in the Punjab, at
Liverpool, ZĂĽrich and Cambridge, Khorana moved to
Vancouver in 1952 and extended his work in the area
Johannes Kepler
Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert

led to his invention of the microchip, the basis of
the microelectronics industry, which by 1996 had
worldwide sales of $957 billion.
Following Bardeen, Brattain and Shockley’s
first transistor in 1947, Kilby’s invention of the inte-
grated circuit led to powerful high-speed electron-
ics, the effects of which have dominated the last
quarter-century and our immediate future. Clearly
such silicon chips containing millions of transis-
tors have unlocked pervasive economic and social
consequences, above all enhancing existing tech-
nologies in many industrial sectors. Cheaply man-
ufactured on a crystalline silicon wafer, they are
the building blocks of a myriad of electronic prod-
ucts including computers, microprocessors and
mobile phones. The era began in 1947 when Kilby
had just graduated and had joined Globe Union Inc.
and later Texas Instruments. In July 1958 he
invented a means of making a single transistor on
a wafer-like sheet of crystalline germanium, using
gold connections. Once miniaturized, vast num-
bers of electronic components could be manu-
factured in a process similar to photographic
development and printing. The density, power,
Har Gobind Khorana speed and low cost of such integrated circuits have
increased exponentially ever since. Kilby has filed
he had studied in Cambridge; the synthesis of over sixty patents and became the director of engi-
nucleotide coenzymes. From 1960–70 he was at neering and technology at Texas Instruments. Five
Wisconsin, and while there he carried out valuable months after Kilby’s original patent, Robert Noyce
syntheses of polynucleotides with known base (1927–90) invented manufacture of such integrated
sequences. These were of great value in establishing circuits on a crystalline silicon substrate using alu-
the ‘genetic code word dictionary’. This refers to the minium connections, which is the method used
fact that the four bases (A,C,G and T) present in DNA since for bulk production. Noyce founded Intel in
chains are ‘read’ in linear groups of three (codons), as 1968. Kilby shared the Nobel Prize for physics in
was known by the late 1950s. It was also known that 2000 with Z I Alferov and H Kroemer (1928– )
the sequence is non-overlapping and ‘comma-less’. who also worked in the field of IT.
Since four bases in groups of three allow 43 = 64 com- Kipping, Frederick Stanley (1863–1949) British
binations, but these code for only 20 amino acids chemist: discoverer of silicones.
which make up proteins, it would appear that some A student at Manchester and Munich, Kipping
codons are ‘nonsense codons’ and/or some amino became a co-worker and friend of W H Perkin Jr
acids are coded by more than one codon. (1860–1929), and a professor at Nottingham from
Khorana had a major part in the work which 1897–1936. Early in his research career he
established the dictionary, by his synthesis of all attempted to make compounds of silicon analo-
the 64 codons. This was an essential step in the fur- gous to some of the familiar organic compounds
ther development of molecular biology. It turns out based on carbon; specifically he tried to make
that the first two bases in a codon triplet are the ketone analogues. His actual product was a poly-
main determinants of its specificity. Khorana’s con- mer mixture, soon named ‘silicone’, and over a
tinued work on RNA and DNA has included the syn- period of years he published extensively on com-
thesis in 1970 of a DNA from Escherichia coli, a gene pounds of this type. He foresaw no practical use for
with 126 nucleotide base pairs. He was at the them as late as 1937, but wartime needs for new
Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1970 materials linked with his methods led to their pro-
and shared a Nobel Prize in 1968 with M W duction in the 1940s for use eventually as specialist
Nirenberg (1927– ) and R W Holley (1922–93), who lubricants, elastomers, hydraulic fluids, sealing
also made major contributions to this area. compounds, insulators and surgical implants; spe-
Khwarizmi, Al see Al-Khwarizmi cialist uses include the soles of moon boots for
Kilby, Jack St Clair (1923– ) US physicist: inventor astronauts. This family of polymeric organosilicon
of the monolithic integrated circuit (the microchip). compounds contain chains of Si–O–Si links, and are
Kilby grew up in Great Bend, KS, the son of a inert and water-repellent. A key step was the dis-
senior electrical engineer. Not accepted by MIT, he covery in 1940 by E G Rochow (1909– ) of an easy
was drafted for military service and worked on route to methyl silicones.
Kirchhoff, Gustav Robert [keerkhhohf] (1824–87)
radio; then, after a degree in electrical engineering
at Illinois and a master’s degree from Wisconsin, he German physicist: pioneer of spectroscopy; devised
began his career in electronic circuitry. This career theory of electrical networks.
Kirkwood, Daniel


prism telescope



Basic components of a prism spectrometer. Light from the source passes through an adjustable slit, and the collimator
lens forms a parallel beam. This is refracted and dispersed by a prism and the resulting spectrum is observed through a
telescope fitted with cross-hairs and mounted to rotate horizontally, so that line positions in the emission spectrum
can be measured.

Kirchhoff was educated at the University of Fraunhofer spectral lines in the Sun’s rays were
Königsberg (later Kaliningrad, USSR) and spent his intensified when sunlight passed through the
professional life at the universities of Breslau, burner flame containing certain salts, leading him
Berlin and Heidelberg. An early accident made him to the realization that they were absorption lines
a wheelchair user but did not alter his cheerful- corresponding to elements found in the Sun’s
ness. atmosphere. He also showed that the ratio of the
Kirchhoff was still a student when in 1845 he emission and absorption powers of radiation of a
made his first important contribution to physics, given wavelength from all bodies is the same at the
formulating Kirchhoff’s Laws, which enable the same temperature (Kirchhoff’s Law of Emission),
current and potential at any point in a network of from which he later developed the concept of the
conductors to be determined. The two laws are black body. The study of black body radiation was
extensions of Ohm’s Law, and state that (1) the the key in the development of quantum theory.
Kirkwood, Daniel (1814–95) US astronomer: dis-
sums of the currents in a network must be zero at
circuit junctions, ÎŁ I = 0, and (2) ÎŁ IR = ÎŁ V when covered and explained the gaps in the asteroid belt.
applied to a closed loop in the network. Kirchhoff’s Kirkwood observed that the orbits of the asteroids
other contributions to the study of electricity are not evenly distributed within the asteroid belt,
include demonstrating that oscillating current in a there being a number of bands in which no aster-
conductor of zero resistance propagates at the oids are found (the Kirkwood gaps). He demon-
speed of light, and the unification of static and cur- strated that these bands correspond to orbital
rent electricity. periods that are simple fractions of Jupiter’s orbital
Kirchhoff was a lifelong friend and collaborator period and that any asteroids lying within the
of the chemist Bunsen and it was with him that ‘gaps’ would eventually be gravitationally perturbed
much of his work on spectroscopy was done. They into other orbits. Kirkwood was similarly able to
established spectroscopy as an analytical tech- explain the Cassini division in the rings of Saturn as
nique, using the nearly colourless flame of the being due to the effect of its satellite Mimas.
Kitasato, Shibasaburo (1852–1931) Japanese bac-
Bunsen gas burner and a prism system designed by
Kirchhoff. They saw that a continuous spectrum is teriologist: co-discoverer of antitoxic immunity
produced by a glowing solid, liquid, or a gas under and of the plague bacillus.
high pressure. An emission-line spectrum is given Kitasato grew up in an isolated mountain village,
by a glowing gas under low pressure. An absorp- where his father was mayor. He studied medicine at
tion-line spectrum is shown when a cooler gas is Tokyo and in 1886 was sent by his government to
placed between a continuous source and the study bacteriology with Koch in Berlin. He proved
observer. In their hands, the spectrometer joined an exceptionally good student and became a close
the telescope and microscope as a dominant scien- friend, and in 1889 he grew the first pure culture of
tific instrument. the tetanus bacillus, which A Nicolaier (1862–1934)
In 1860 they demonstrated that when metal com- had described in 1884. In 1890, working with
pounds are heated in a flame they emit spectral Behring, they showed that animals injected with
lines that are characteristic of the metal con- small doses of tetanus toxin developed in their
cerned, a fact which led Bunsen to discover the ele- blood the power of neutralizing the toxin, and that
ments caesium and rubidium shortly afterward. their blood serum could protect other animals for a
Kirchhoff had discovered in 1859 that the dark time. This discovery (antitoxic immunity) quickly
Klug, Sir Aaron

led to the use of serum (made in horses) for treating Klein also added to number theory and the theory
tetanus, and a similar antitoxin was developed for of differential equations, and recast Riemannian
treating diphtheria and for protection against the geometry as a part of function theory. In the 1890s
diseases. The theory of these immunological reac- Klein and Sommerfeld worked out the theory of
tions was developed especially by Ehrlich. the gyroscope and produced a standard textbook
In 1892 Kitasato returned to Japan, and in 1894 he on it; he was against the tendency of mathematics
was sent to Hong Kong to study the bubonic plague to become highly abstract and liked engineering
epidemic there. He succeeded in identifying the applications. He was also uninterested in detailed
plague bacillus, at nearly the same time as A Yersin calculations, which he left to his students.
Klitzing, Klaus von (1943– ) German physicist:
(1863–1943) from Paris.
Klaproth, Martin Heinrich [klaproht] (1743–1817) discovered the quantum Hall effect.
German chemist: a founder of analytical chemistry Von Klitzing was born in Schroda/Posen and stud-
and discoverer of new elements. ied at Braunschweig and WĂĽrzburg. He became a
Klaproth came into chemistry from an appren- professor in 1980 at Munich, and in 1985 director of
ticeship as an apothecary, as did a number of the Max Planck Institute, Stuttgart. In 1977 he pre-
chemists of his time. By 1810 his fame was such sented a paper on two-dimensional electronic
that he had left his pharmacy and was appointed behaviour in which the quantum Hall effect can be
the first professor of chemistry in the new univer- clearly seen. However, few realized the significance
sity of Berlin. Before then he had done much to of the measurements, and it was only when work-
develop analytical chemistry, and the standard ing one night at the high magnetic field laboratory
methods of gravimetric analysis (eg heating precip- in Grenoble in 1980 that von Klitzing appreciated
itates to constant weight) owe much to him. His what had occurred.
analyses led him to deduce that new elements must An electronic gas that is confined into a flat layer
be present in various minerals; eg uranium in can be made by depositing a very thin layer of semi-
pitchblende (1789; named in honour of the new conductor upon a base material. Under a magnetic
planet, Uranus) zirconium in zircon (also in 1789), field electrons will perform circular orbits, with
strontium in strontianite (1793) and titanium in only particular energy states allowed (called
rutile (1795). In each case, the free element was Landau levels). At certain values of the field the
later isolated by others. He began the study of the Landau levels become filled and the conductivity
rare earth metals, and he showed that nickel is pre- and resistivity fall to zero. Others had put forward
sent in meteorites. He was an early supporter of a theory that the (Hall) resistance under such con-
ditions should rise in units of h/e2; von Klitzing
Lavoisier’s ideas and did much to ensure that they
were taught in Germany. demonstrated that the resistance did rise in steps
Klein, Christian Felix (1849–1925) German mathe- and accurately obeyed this condition. He had dis-
matician: the founder of modern geometry unify- covered the quantum Hall effect (QHE), and for this
ing Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry. won the 1985 Nobel Prize for physics.
Klein studied at Bonn, Göttingen, Berlin and The effect has caused new thinking on electrical
Paris, and began research in geometry, although he conduction in high magnetic fields; and it has
had at first wished to do physics. Work on transfor- allowed resistance to be measured with excep-
mation groups with Lie followed in 1870, and he tional accuracy.
Klug, Sir Aaron (1926– ) South African–British
became professor of mathematics at Erlangen at
23, having just finished service as a medical orderly biophysicist: developed crystallographic electron
in the Franco-Prussian war. In his inaugural lecture microscopy and applied it to viruses and other
of 1872 at Erlangen he put forward the audacious nucleic acid-protein complexes.
‘Erlanger Programm’, a unification of mathe- Klug was born in Lithuania but, aged two, he
matics to be achieved by considering each branch moved with his parents to South Africa. Planning to
of geometry as the theory of invariants of a partic- graduate in medicine he took the premedical
ular tranformation group. This was well received course at Witwatersrand, but found the science
and influenced his colleagues to unify geometry. components attracted him enough to drop medi-
During most of his career he held a professorship at cine and take a science degree. This was followed by
Göttingen, and helped to make it a centre for all the research in X-ray crystallography at Cape Town and
exact sciences, as well as mathematics. then a move to Cambridge with the intention of
Euclidean geometry comes from the metrical using X-ray methods in biophysics; but this unit
transformation, projective geometry from linear was full and Klug was deflected to theoretical work
transformations, topology from continuous trans- in metallurgy. However, this gained him his PhD
formations and non-Euclidean geometries from and made him familiar with computing, and the
their particular metrics. concepts of nucleation and growth within cooling
Klein developed projective geometry, taking it metals later proved useful in his work on viruses.
from three to n dimensions and applied group In 1953 by a move to London he achieved his
theory widely, for example to the symmetries of desire to work in biophysics. There he met Rosalind
regular solids (1884). He invented the Klein bottle Franklin, whose X-ray diffraction pictures of crys-
in topology, which is a one-sided closed surface tals of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) fascinated him;
with no boundaries (it has no ‘inside’). he was able to interpret the curious curved layer
Klumpke, Dorothea

lines in these pictures as due to helical molecular Sorbonne – for a thesis on Saturn’s rings (1893). In
shapes with irregular parameters. After her death 1899, France, Germany and Russia made plans to
in 1958 he continued working on TMV and on launch balloons to observe the Leonid meteor
spherical viruses and in 1962 he joined the strong shower of mid-November and Klumpke was chosen
X-ray group led by PERUTZ at the MRC lab in to ascend in La Centaure. She married Isaac Roberts
Cambridge. There he devised mathematical meth- in 1901; he was a Welsh businessman and amateur
ods for extracting more information on the struc- astronomer 30 years her senior; they settled in
ture of viruses than had been obtained previously. London. After his death in 1904 she returned to
Viruses are composed of a nucleic acid linked with France with her husband’s large photographic
a protein: these being made mainly of light atoms plate collection, and published in 1928 a Celestial
(C, H, O, N), they give X-ray patterns and electron Atlas in tribute to him. She was made a chevalier of
micrographs of rather low contrast. Klug’s methods the Légion d’honneur in 1934 for her long service to
used with a combination of these techniques French astronomy. Together with her sister Anna
enhanced the images, and gave a three-dimen- she returned to the USA in the late 1930s.
Koch, Robert [kokh] (1843–1910) German bacteriol-
sional picture of the structure. He found that TMV
has a nucleic acid chain of helical form wrapped by ogist: a founder of medical bacteriology.
protein molecules; and he went on to apply similar Koch was one of the 13 children of a mine official;
methods to other viruses and to the bigger he studied medicine at Göttingen, served in the
DNA–protein complex found in cell nuclei, chro- Franco-Prussian war of 1870 and became a district
matin, threads of which condense to become a medical officer in a small town in east Germany. He
chromosome during cell division. Klug was became interested in anthrax and worked on the
awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1982. disease in a room in his house, using a microscope
Klumpke, Dorothea [klumpkuh] (1861–1942) US given to him by his wife. Anthrax is a deadly disease
astronomer: the first woman to make astronomical of cattle, which caused huge losses in France at that
observations from a balloon. time. It is highly contagious, can be passed to man,
Dorothea Klumpke was born in San Francisco, and can infect animals in fields from which cattle
where her father had made a fortune from real have been excluded for years. It was known to be
estate. Her mother believed that their two sons and caused by a bacterium. Koch found by 1876 that the
five daughters should have the same educational anthrax bacilli can form spores (if the temperature
opportunity and so, as they could find no suitable is not too low, and if oxygen is present) and that
schools in post-gold-rush San Francisco, they these are resistant to heat and to drying. These
moved to Europe, where Dorothea was to live for spores can re-form the bacillus. Koch was able to
the next 50 years. She was educated in Germany, isolate the anthrax bacillus from the blood of
Switzerland and France. She gained her bachelor of infected cows and he produced pure cultures, able
science degree in mathematics in 1886 from the to cause the disease; for the first time, a laboratory
Sorbonne, and joined the staff of the Paris culture was shown to cause disease. (Pasteur was
Observatory and worked on photographic star working competitively on similar lines and in 1882
charts. In 1891 she became director of a bureau of made an anthrax vaccine which protected against
the Paris Observatory for the measurement of the the infection.)
plates of the astro-photographic catalogue of stars Koch much improved techniques in bacteriology.
down to 15th magnitude. She became the first He used dyes to stain bacteria and so make them
woman to gain a doctorate in mathematics at the more visible under the microscope; he used a solid
medium (agar gel) to grow them conveniently and
separately on plates, or in the flat glass dishes
designed by his assistant J R Petri (1852–1921); and
he aided surgery by showing that steam kills bacte-
ria on dressings and instruments more effectively
than dry heat. From 1879 he worked in the Health
Office in Berlin, where in 1882 he identified the
tubercle bacillus. This was difficult work; the bacil-
lus is small and slow-growing, but human tubercu-
losis (‘TB’) was responsible for one in seven of all
European deaths at that time. In 1890 Koch was per-
suaded to announce a vaccine against it, but the
claim was premature and his ‘cure’ survived only
as a test method to show whether a patient had
experienced tuberculosis.
From the 1880s he travelled widely, much enjoy-
ing his position as one of the first of the ‘interna-
tional experts’. He did major work in Egypt, where
he discovered and cultured the cholera vibrio in
1883, and in India on bubonic plague, in Java on
malaria, in East Africa on sleeping sickness and in
Dorothea Klumpke
Kornberg, Arthur

Kolbe, (Adolf Wilhelm) Hermann [kolbuh]
(1818–84) German organic chemist: developed
useful routes in organic synthesis.
Kolbe was the eldest of the 15 children of a Luthe-
ran pastor. He studied chemistry under Wöhler and
Bunsen, and with L Playfair (1819–98) in London.
He succeeded Bunsen at Marburg in 1851 and moved
to Leipzig in 1865. He was an inspiring teacher and
a talented researcher, despite holding firmly to out-
dated theories (mainly Berzelius’s) and his intem-
perate criticism of newer ideas (he vigorously
abused Kekulé’s structure theory, for example).
His many successes in synthesis include the Kolbe
reaction, in which a hydrocarbon is made by elec-
trolysis of an alkali metal salt of an organic acid (this
was the first use of electrolysis in organic synthesis):
2RCO2K + 2H2O → R–R + 2CO2 + 2KOH + H2
At anode At cathode
For example: 2Br(CH2)11CO2K → Br(CH2)22Br
Robert Koch Also named after him is the Kolbe or Kolbe–
Schmitt reaction, in which an alkali metal phenox-
South Africa on rinderpest. Although not as wide- ide is heated with carbon dioxide under pressure; a
ranging a biological genius as Pasteur, he is the carboxyl group enters the ring and the product is a
greatest figure in medical bacteriology and many of phenolic acid; eg a synthesis of salicyclic acid:
its leaders after him were his pupils. His Nobel Prize
C6H5ONa + CO2 → o-(NaO)C6H4CO2H
in 1905 was for his work on tuberculosis. His criteria
Kolmogorov, Andrei Nikolaievich [kolmogorof]
for deciding that an organism causes a disease
(Koch’s postulates) remain as critical tests: they (1903–87) Russian mathematician: advanced the
require (1) the presence of the organism in every case foundations of probability theory.
of the disease examined; (2) the preparation of a pure Kolmogorov graduated from Moscow in 1925 and
culture; (3) the re-production of the disease by a pure in 1933 became director of the Institute of
culture, removed by several generations from the Mathematics. In 1933 his book Foundations of the
organisms first isolated. Use of these principles of Theory of Probability became the first rigorous treat-
1890 established modern medical bacteriology. ment of the subject. The ‘additivity assumption’
Kocher, Emil Theodor (1841–1917) Swiss surgeon. basic to probability is set out (due originally to
Born and educated in Bern, Kocher qualified in Jakob Bernoulli (1654–1705)): that if an event can
medicine at the city’s University in 1865, and spent occur in an infinite number of ways its probability
his career there researching and teaching surgery. is the sum of the probabilities of each of these ways.
Lister’s antiseptic and aseptic methods were quickly Kolmogorov then explored Markov processes –
coming into general use, and Kocher devised his those where a probability of a variable depends on
own improvements. His teaching included a course its previous value but not its values before that.
for military doctors, and Kocher within a few years He constructed such processes by analytic means.
made an improved study of gunshot wounds. From Another of his interests was the theory of algo-
then on he carried out surgery of all kinds, from rithms (or mathematical operations, such as
one end of the gastrointestinal tract to the other, division), and he showed its relationship to com-
together with work on joints and on the brain, and puting and with cybernetics, which is concerned
in many surgical procedures he devised valuable with communication and control, and ‘feedback’.
improvements. Goitre is common in Switzerland, Kolmogorov produced a theory of programmed
and by 1914 he had removed the thyroid gland instructions and of how information is conveyed
from 2000 patients with a mortality of only 4.5%. along communication channels.
Kornberg, Arthur (1918– ) US biochemist: devised
Kocher kept good post-operative records, observed
the effects on patients of partial or complete artificial synthesis of DNA using enzyme.
removal of the gland, and contributed to the real- Kornberg graduated in chemistry and biology at
ization that its function is to produce an iodine- City College New York in 1937 and in medicine at
containing hormone (thyroxine) whose excess or Rochester in 1941. For the next 10 years he worked
deficiency leads to characteristic diseases. (During at the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda; he
the First World War E C Kendall in the USA isolated was also a lieutenant in the US Coast Guard. From
thyroxine in pure form from pig thyroids, and 1959 he was professor of biochemistry at Stanford.
the study of hormones – endocrinology – became His main concern was always with enzymes, and in
established.) 1956 he made an outstanding discovery. This was
Kocher was the first surgeon to receive a Nobel his isolation of an enzyme from Escherichia coli, now
Prize: it was awarded to him in 1909, for his work called DNA polymerase I, which he showed was
on the thyroid gland. able to synthesize DNA from nucleotide molecules
Kossel, Albrecht

(which can themselves be made synthetically) in Her husband, the young palaeontologist V
the absence of living cells, provided that the reac- Kovalevsky, took her to Germany. Women there
tion mixture included some natural DNA to act as a were not admitted to university lectures, but she
template and primer. This last idea was both novel was tutored by leading physicists at Heidelberg,
and of great importance in later work on DNA. and in Berlin studied with Weierstrass, who rec-
Kornberg shared the 1959 Nobel Prize with S Ochoa ognized her talent and persuaded the university of
(1905–93) for this work. Göttingen to consider her published research
Kossel, Albrecht (1853–1927) German physiologist. papers for a doctorate in absentia: she was granted
Qualified in medicine at Strasbourg, he was later the degree in 1874. She was unable to find an acad-
professor at Heidelberg. He contributed to early emic post open to women, and so returned to
work on the chemistry of cell nuclei: he found that Russia, where her daughter was born. In debt, her
nucleic acid contained phosphorus, and also four husband became involved in fraud, was disgraced
base components, adenine, thymine, cytosine and and committed suicide in 1883. Soon afterwards,
guanine (the last already known). He also first iso- with the help of Weierstrass, she was appointed lec-
lated histidine, from spermatozoa (in 1896). He turer at the university of Stockholm and in 1884
won the Nobel Prize in 1910. was granted a professorship.
Kovalevsky, Sonya (Sofya) Vasilyevna, Sonya Her work in mathematical analysis ranks her as
Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya (Russ), née Korvin- the leading woman mathematician before the
Krukovsky (1850–91) Russian mathematician. 20th-c, with her major contributions being on par-
Although Sonya’s parents were well-educated tial differential equations and on Abelian func-
members of the nobility, they were not sympa- tions. In applied mathematics she worked on the
thetic to the ‘liberated’ ideas of their young daugh- structure of Saturn’s rings, on propagation of light,
ters. However, one of the children’s rooms was and notably on the rotation of a solid body about a
temporarily wallpapered with the student lecture fixed point. Her paper on the last of these subjects
notes on calculus of their father, a general of engi- won prizes from both the French and Swedish
neers. (Years later her tutor in mathematics was Academies, and in 1889 she was elected a corre-
surprised at the speed with which Sonya grasped sponding member of the Russian Academy of
the concepts of the calculus.) A family friend, rec- Science. She died 2 years later, at the height of her
ognizing her ability, advised that she should study career, following an influenzal infection.
Krebs, Sir Hans Adolf (1900–81) German–British
mathematics, which she did through tutorials at
the naval academy at St Petersburg during visits biochemist: discovered energy-generating cycle in
there with her mother. living cells.
When she was 18 years old Sonya followed a path Krebs followed his father in studying medicine
then favoured by Russian women in search of study and, after the German practice of the time, did so at
abroad: she contracted a marriage of convenience. five universities; he then spent 4 years working in
Berlin on biochemical problems with Warburg.
The latter had developed a method for studying
metabolic reactions by using thin tissue slices and
measuring their gas exchange manometrically,
and Krebs used and improved this technique in
1932 to show how, in the liver of most animals,
amino acids lose nitrogen to give urea in a process
now known as the ornithine cycle.
The next year he escaped from Germany to
England and, after a short period in Cambridge, set-
tled in Sheffield for 20 years; here most of his work
was done, notably his work on the Krebs cycle (also
known as the citric acid or tricarboxylic acid cycle).
This cycle is the central energy-generating process
in cells of most kinds, occurs in their mitochondria
and generates energy for the entire organism. It
was already known that foods in general are broken
down to glucose and then to pyruvic acid; but those
stages yield little energy. Krebs showed how the
glucose is broken down in a cycle of changes to give
carbon dioxide, water and energy. For this funda-


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