George Howard Darwin

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Darwin, George Howard


Born July 9, 1845, in Down, near London; died Dec. 7, 1912, in Cambridge. English astronomer and mathematician. Member of the Royal Society of London (1879) and corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1907). Son of Charles Darwin.

George Darwin graduated from Cambridge University and became a professor there in 1883. He developed methods for precalculating ocean tides based on the application of harmonic analysis and studied the influence of tides and tidal friction as a cosmogonic factor that influences the process of evolution of celestial bodies. He advanced a hypothesis about the formation of binary stars and applied it with his tidal friction theory to the earth-moon system. While studying the so-called pear-shaped figure of the equilibrium of rotating masses of fluid, Darwin falsely concluded that the pear-shaped figure possesses stability; he needed such a conclusion to confirm his cosmogonic hypothesis. He also studied periodic orbits in the problem of three bodies and using the numerical method found a number of families of periodic orbits in one instance of this problem.


Scientific Papers, vols. 1–5. Cambridge, 1907–16.
In Russian translation:
Prilivy i rodstvennye im iavleniia ν solnechnoi sisteme
. Moscow-Petrograd, 1923.
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