Stokes, George Gabriel, 1819-1903

Alternative names
Birth 1819-08-13
Death 1903-02-01

Biographical notes:

Mathematician and physicist.

From the description of Papers, 1846-1902. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 81407172

Entered Pembroke College, Cambridge and graduated as Senior Wrangler and lst Smith's prizeman in 1841. From 1849-1903 he was Lucasisn professor of mathematics at Cambridge. F. R. S. 1851. Secretary of the Royal Society 1854-1885. President of Royal Society 1885-1890. Copley Medal 1893. Rumford Medal 1852. M. P. for Cambridge University 1887-1891. Created Bart in 1889.

From the description of Papers, 1851-1890. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 79182017

Sir George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903), first baronet, mathematician and physicist, was educated at schools in Dublin and Bristol, before attending Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he was senior wrangler and first Smith's prizeman. He was made a fellow of Pembroke in 1841, and was master, 1902-1903. While at Cambridge he developed a close friendship with William Thomson, Lord Kelvin. In 1849 he was made Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, a position he held until his death. Stokes developed Lagrange's theory of the motion of viscous fluids, and also carried out work on optics. He contributed to the discovery and development of spectrum analysis, and in 1852 discovered the nature of flouresence. He was the virtual founder of modern science of geodesy in 1849. Stokes was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1851, and served as its secretary, 1854-85, and president, 1885-90. Between 1887 and 1891 he was the Conservative MP for Cambridge University. He was created baronet in 1889.

From the guide to the Sir George Gabriel Stokes: Miscellaneous Papers, c.1830s-1902, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)

Sir Gabriel Stokes, born in Ireland and educated at Cambridge University, was a mathematician and physicist. His researches, done in many fields, developed the modern theory of viscous fluids, revealed the nature of fluorescence, and helped to establish the composition of chlorophyll. The important work he did on the undulatory theory of light led to publication of his Dynamical Theory of Diffraction (1849). His other publications include Light (1884) and Natural Theology (1891). He died in 1903.

From the description of George Gabriel Stokes Papers. 1865. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 225565216

Epithet: Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, Cambridge

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000444.0x000361


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  • Inventions
  • Lectures (teaching method)
  • Optics
  • Mathematics
  • Hydrostatics
  • Light
  • Examination
  • Refraction
  • Physics


  • Mathematicians
  • Physicists


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