George Darwin

George Darwin

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Sir George Howard Darwin, FRS (9 July 1845 – Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, 7 December 1912) was an English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

An astronomer is a scientist who studies celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies.Historically, astronomy was more concerned with the classification and description of phenomena in the sky, while astrophysics attempted to explain these phenomena and the differences between them using...

 and mathematician
A mathematician is a person whose primary area of study is the field of mathematics. Mathematicians are concerned with quantity, structure, space, and change....



Darwin was born at Down House
Down House
Down House is the former home of the English naturalist Charles Darwin and his family. It was in this house and garden that Darwin worked on his theories of evolution by natural selection which he had conceived in London before moving to Downe....

, Kent, the second son and fifth child of Charles
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

 and Emma Darwin
Emma Darwin
Emma Darwin was the wife and first cousin of Charles Darwin, the English naturalist, scientist and author of On the Origin of Species...

. He studied under Charles Pritchard
Charles Pritchard
Charles Pritchard was a British astronomer.He was born at Alberbury, Shropshire. At sixteen he was enrolled as a sizar at St John's College, Cambridge, graduating in 1830 as fourth wrangler. In 1832 he was elected a fellow of his college, and in the following year he was ordained, and became head...

, and entered St John's College, Cambridge
St John's College, Cambridge
St John's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. The college's alumni include nine Nobel Prize winners, six Prime Ministers, three archbishops, at least two princes, and three Saints....

 in 1863, though he soon moved to Trinity College
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

, where his tutor was Edward John Routh. He graduated as second wrangler in 1868, when he was also placed second for the Smith's Prize
Smith's Prize
The Smith's Prize was the name of each of two prizes awarded annually to two research students in theoretical Physics, mathematics and applied mathematics at the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England.- History :...

 and was appointed to a college fellowship. He was admitted to the bar in 1872, but returned to science. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June, 1879 and won their Royal Medal
Royal Medal
The Royal Medal, also known as The Queen's Medal, is a silver-gilt medal awarded each year by the Royal Society, two for "the most important contributions to the advancement of natural knowledge" and one for "distinguished contributions in the applied sciences" made within the Commonwealth of...

 in 1884 and their Copley Medal
Copley Medal
The Copley Medal is an award given by the Royal Society of London for "outstanding achievements in research in any branch of science, and alternates between the physical sciences and the biological sciences"...

 in 1911. He delivered their Bakerian Lecture
Bakerian Lecture
The Bakerian Lecture is a prize lecture of the Royal Society, a lecture on physical sciences.In 1775 Henry Baker left £100 for a spoken lecture by a Fellow on such part of natural history or experimental philosophy as the Society shall determine....

 in 1891 on the subject of "tidal prediction".

In 1883 he became Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy
Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy
The Plumian chair of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy is one of the two major Professorships in Astronomy at Cambridge University, alongside the Lowndean Professorship. The chair is currently held at the Institute of Astronomy in the University...

 at the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

. He studied tidal forces involving the Sun
The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is almost perfectly spherical and consists of hot plasma interwoven with magnetic fields...

, Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

, and Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, and formulated the fission theory of Moon formation.

He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society
-History:In the early years, more than one medal was often awarded in a year, but by 1833 only one medal was being awarded per year. This caused a problem when Neptune was discovered in 1846, because many felt an award should jointly be made to John Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier...

 in 1892, and also later (1899–1901) served as president of that organization.

Darwin married Martha (Maud) du Puy of Philadelphia. They had two sons and two daughters:
  • Gwen Raverat
    Gwen Raverat
    Gwendolen Mary "Gwen" Raverat née Darwin was a celebrated English wood engraving artist who co-founded the Society of Wood Engravers in England.- Biography :...

     (1885–1957), artist.
  • Charles Galton Darwin
    Charles Galton Darwin
    Sir Charles Galton Darwin, KBE, MC, FRS was an English physicist, the grandson of Charles Darwin. He served as director of the National Physical Laboratory during the Second World War.-Early life:...

     (1887–1962), physicist.
  • Margaret Elizabeth Darwin (1890–1974), married Sir Geoffrey Keynes
    Geoffrey Keynes
    Sir Geoffrey Langdon Keynes was an English biographer, surgeon, physician, scholar and bibliophile...

  • William Robert Darwin (1894–1970)
    • Father of George Erasmus Darwin (1927-)
      • Grandfather of Chris Darwin
        Chris Darwin
        Christopher William Darwin lives in Australia and works for High and Wild and the Australian School of Mountaineering, guiding canyoning, rock climbing, mountaineering, abseiling and nature walks. He is the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin.-Biography:Darwin was born in 1961 in London...

         (1961-) and Sarah Darwin
        Sarah Darwin
        Sarah Catherine Vogel FLS is a British botanist.She is the daughter of George Erasmus Darwin, a metallurgist, and his wife Shuna . She has two older brothers; Robert George Darwin and the conservationist Chris Darwin...


Works by G. H. Darwin

External links