Rayleigh , John William Strutt
Rayleigh , John William Strutt, third baron
(1842–1919) British physicist
Rayleigh, born at Witham in Essex, succeeded to his father's title in 1873. He graduated in mathematics from Cambridge University in 1865 and remained at Cambridge until his marriage, in 1871, to Evelyn Balfour, sister of the statesman Lord Balfour. In the following year poor health, which had also disrupted his schooling as a child, necessitated a break from academic life and recuperation in a warmer climate. During this convalescence, which was spent traveling up the Nile in a houseboat, Rayleigh wrote The Theory of Sound, which remains a classic in writings on acoustics.
On his return to England, Rayleigh built a laboratory next to his family home. Apart from the period 1879–84, when he succeeded James Clerk Maxwell as Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics at Cambridge, Rayleigh carried out most of his work in this private laboratory. Of his early work the best known is his equation to account for the blue color of the sky, which (confirming John Tyndall's theory) concerned light scattering by small particles in the atmosphere. The amount of scattering depends on the wavelength of the light, and this causes the blue color. From this theory came the scattering law, an important concept in studies of wave propagation. Rayleigh also did a vast amount of work on other problems in physics, particularly in optics and acoustics.
While serving as Cavendish Professor, Rayleigh concerned himself with the precise measuring of electrical standards. He invented the Rayleigh potentiometer for precise measurement of potential difference. He extended this precision to the determination of the density of gases, and made the seemingly strange observation that nitrogen from air is always slightly denser than nitrogen obtained from a chemical compound. This led to his collaboration with William Ramsay that resulted in the discovery of argon. Rayleigh received the Nobel Prize for physics for this work in 1904; in the same year Ramsay was awarded the chemistry prize.

Scientists. . 2011.

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  • Rayleigh, John William Strutt, 3rd Baron — ▪ British scientist born Nov. 12, 1842, Langford Grove, Maldon, Essex, Eng. died June 30, 1919, Terling Place, Witham, Essex  English physical scientist who made fundamental discoveries in the fields of acoustics and optics that are basic to the… …   Universalium

  • Rayleigh, John William Strutt, lord — ► (1842 1919) Físico británico. En 1894, con Ramsay, descubrió el argón. Fue premio Nobel de Física en 1904 por la totalidad de sus investigaciones …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Physiknobelpreis 1904: Lord Rayleigh \(John William Strutt\) —   Der englische Physiker erhielt den Nobelpreis für seine Untersuchungen der Dichte der wichtigsten Gase und für die Entdeckung des Edelgases Argon.    Biografie   John William Strutt, 3. Baron (seit 1873) Rayleigh, * Langford Grove (Essex) 12.… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • John William Strutt — John William Strutt, 3. Baron Rayleigh, (* 12. November 1842 in Langford Grove, Meldon, England; † 30. Juni 1919 in Terlins Place bei Witham, England) war ein englischer Physiker. Er erhielt 1904 den Nobelpreis für Physik. John William Strutt, 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John William Strutt, 3. Lord Rayleigh — John William Strutt, 3. Baron Rayleigh, (* 12. November 1842 in Langford Grove, Meldon, England; † 30. Juni 1919 in Terlins Place bei Witham, England) war ein englischer Physiker. Er erhielt 1904 den Nobelpreis für Physik. John William Strutt, 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John William Strutt Rayleigh — John William Strutt, 3. Baron Rayleigh, (* 12. November 1842 in Langford Grove, Meldon, England; † 30. Juni 1919 in Terlins Place bei Witham, England) war ein englischer Physiker. Er erhielt 1904 den Nobelpreis für Physik. John William Strutt, 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John William Strutt, 3. Baron Rayleigh — John William Strutt, 3. Baron Rayleigh, (* 12. November 1842 in Langford Grove, Maldon, England; † 30. Juni 1919 in Terlins Place bei Witham, England) war ein englischer Physiker. Er erhielt 1904 den Nobelpreis für Physik. John William Strutt, 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John William Strutt — Rayleigh John W. Rayleigh Naissance 12 novembre 1842 Landford Grove (Essex) (Royaume Uni) Décès …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John William Strutt Rayleigh — John W. Rayleigh Naissance 12 novembre 1842 Landford Grove (Essex) (Royaume Uni) Décès 30 juin 1919 Witham (Essex) (Royaume Uni) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rayleigh (of Terling Place), John William Strutt, 3er barón — (12 nov. 1842, Langford Grove, Essex, Inglaterra–30 jun. 1919, Terling Place, Witham, Essex). Físico inglés. En 1873 heredó el título de su padre y construyó un laboratorio de investigación en su finca. Enseñó física en la Universidad de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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