Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Tyndall, John (1820–93)
JOHN TYNDALL WAS born in Leighlinbridge, County Carlow, in Ireland on August 2, 1820. After working as a surveyor and a mathematics teacher, he attended the University of Marburg in Germany, where he received his Ph.D. In 1854, he became a professor of natural philosophy at the Royal Institution in London (a scientific research center founded in 1799). In 1867, he was made superintendent of the institution, taking over from Michael Faraday. Tyndall's most well-known scientific studies included the nature of sound, light, and radiant heat and observations on the structure and movement of glaciers. Glaciers had become a scientific area of interest during that time because in the 1830s, Louis Agassiz (considered the father of glaciology) had discovered that a large portion of Europe and North America had once been covered with ice. Tyndall developed an interest in meteorology as a result of his love for mountain climbing. He ...