19 Facts About Lord Rayleigh


Lord Rayleigh spent all of his academic career at the University of Cambridge.

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Lord Rayleigh provided the first theoretical treatment of the elastic scattering of light by particles much smaller than the light's wavelength, a phenomenon now known as "Lord Rayleigh scattering", which notably explains why the sky is blue.

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Lord Rayleigh studied and described transverse surface waves in solids, now known as "Rayleigh waves".

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Lord Rayleigh contributed extensively to fluid dynamics, with concepts such as the Rayleigh number, Rayleigh flow, the Rayleigh–Taylor instability, and Rayleigh's criterion for the stability of Taylor–Couette flow.

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In optics, Lord Rayleigh proposed a well-known criterion for angular resolution.

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Lord Rayleigh attended Eton College and Harrow School, before going on to the University of Cambridge in 1861 where he studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge.

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Lord Rayleigh obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1865, and a Master of Arts in 1868.

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Lord Rayleigh held the post until his marriage to Evelyn Balfour, daughter of James Maitland Balfour, in 1871.

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Lord Rayleigh was the second Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge, from 1879 to 1884.

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Lord Rayleigh first described dynamic soaring by seabirds in 1883, in the British journal Nature.

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Around the year 1900 Lord Rayleigh developed the duplex theory of human sound localisation using two binaural cues, interaural phase difference and interaural level difference .

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In 1919, Lord Rayleigh served as president of the Society for Psychical Research.

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Lord Rayleigh was elected fellow of the Royal Society on 12 June 1873, and served as president of the Royal Society from 1905 to 1908.

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Lord Rayleigh was succeeded, as the 4th Lord Rayleigh, by his son Robert John Strutt, another well-known physicist.

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Lord Rayleigh was buried in the graveyard of All Saints' Church in Terling in Essex.

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Lord Rayleigh held an interest in parapsychology and was an early member of the Society for Psychical Research .

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Lord Rayleigh was not convinced of spiritualism but remained open to the possibility of supernatural phenomena.

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Lord Rayleigh gave a presidential address in the year of his death but did not come to any definite conclusions.

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Lord Rayleigh was among the original recipients of the Order of Merit in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902, and received the order from King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 8 August 1902.

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