William Thompson

Edward Walter Maunder and the Sunspots

Edward Walter Maunder and the Sunspots

On April 12, 1851, British astronomer Edward Walter Maunder was born. Maunder was the first to take the British Civil Service Commission examination for the post of photographic and spectroscopic assistant at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. He is best remembered for his study of sunspots and the solar magnetic cycle that led to his identification of the period from 1645 to 1715 that is now known as the Maunder Minimum. “If we…
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Robert J. Van de Graaff and the Van de Graaf Generator

Robert J. Van de Graaff and the Van de Graaf Generator

On December 20, 1901, American physicist Robert Jemison Van de Graaff was born. Van de Graaff is specifically noted for his design and construction of high-voltage Van de Graaff generators that can be used as a particle accelerator in atomic research. Early Years Robert Jemison Van de Graaff received his master’s degree from The University of Alabama and began working at the Alabama Power Company afterwards. Van de Graaf later studied at the…
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George Green and his Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

George Green and his Theory of Electricity and Magnetism

On July 14, 1793, British mathematical physicist George Green was baptized. He is best known for his publication of wrote An Essay on the Application of Mathematical Analysis to the Theories of Electricity and Magnetism, in which he developed a first mathematical theory of electricity and magnetism. His theory formed the foundation for the work of other scientists such as James Clerk Maxwell,[3] William Thomson,[4] and others. George Green was born and lived for…
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