Download Sir James Dewar, 1842-1923: A Ruthless Chemist by J.S. Rowlinson PDF

Download Sir James Dewar, 1842-1923: A Ruthless Chemist by J.S. Rowlinson PDF

By J.S. Rowlinson

Sir James Dewar used to be an immense determine in British chemistry for round forty years. He held the posts of Jacksonian Professor of ordinary Philosophy at Cambridge (1875-1923) and Fullerian Professor of Chemistry on the Royal establishment (1877-1923) and is remembered mostly for his efforts to liquefy hydrogen effectively within the box that might turn out to be referred to as cryogenics. His experiments during this box led him to enhance the vacuum flask, now on the whole referred to as the thermos, and in 1898 he used to be the 1st individual to effectively liquefy hydrogen. a guy of many pursuits, he used to be additionally, with Frederick Abel, the inventor of explosive cordite, an fulfillment that concerned him in a big criminal conflict with Alfred Nobel. certainly, Dewar's occupation observed him taken with a few public quarrels with fellow scientists; he used to be a fierce and occasionally unscrupulous defender of his rights and his claims to precedence in a fashion that throws a lot gentle at the clinical spirit and perform of his day. This, the 1st scholarly biography of Dewar, seeks to resurrect and reinterpret a guy who used to be a huge of his time, yet is now unfortunately ignored. In so doing, the booklet will shed a lot new gentle at the medical tradition of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and the improvement of the sector of chemistry in Britain.

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This was the physiologist, John Gray McKendrick,30 a man a year Dewar’s senior who, like Dewar, had lost both parents as a child but who had grown up in much poorer circumstances. He became Professor of Physiology at Glasgow in 1876. It was Dewar who suggested that they collaborate in studying the effect of light on the electrical properties of the eye. They borrowed a sensitive galvanometer from Tait which was of the pattern invented by Tait’s friend, William Thomson,31 in Glasgow. This they set up in the little laboratory in Clyde Street and detected electric currents in isolated eyeballs when the light shone on them.

32 The overcrowding and lack of equipment in Cambridge contrasted with the more extensive, if no better funded, facilities to which Dewar had become accustomed in Edinburgh and was the start of his dissatisfaction with Cambridge. Henry Armstrong, his closest scientific friend in his later life, thought, moreover, that Cambridge and Dewar were temperamentally unsuited to each other; the sober university did not take kindly to the free-and-easy ways of the young Scot. ) Nevertheless the appointment had been made and Dewar and his wife moved south.

In your time. Would you mind telling me? I think that we are in for a splendid row; many men devoutly wish it may end in Dewar’s not Ruhemann’s dismissal. M. Pattison Muir10 The next day, Muir’s colleague, Arthur Sheridan Lea, the Fellow in Physiology at Caius, wrote even more directly: Sir James Dewar, 1842–1923 28 My dear Scott, I shall be greatly obliged if you will let me know whether [during] the time you were Dewar’s assistant he employed you to carry out analyses for him of articles for purely commercial purposes.

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