George Gabriel Stokes

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Stokes, George Gabriel


Born Aug. 13, 1819, in Skreen, County Sligo, Ireland; died Feb. 1, 1903, in Cambridge. British physicist. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1851). The society’s secretary from 1854 to 1885 and its president from 1885 to 1890.

After graduating from Cambridge University in 1841, Stokes joined the university’s teaching staff. In 1849 he was appointed Lucasian professor of mathematics, a position that at one time had been held by I. Newton. Stokes served as a member of Parliament for Cambridge University from 1887 to 1892. In recognition of his scientific work, he was created a baronet in 1889.

Many of Stokes’ papers deal with wave processes in various media. Between 1842 and 1851 he studied the steady motion of incompressible fluids, the friction of fluids in motion, and the motion of a sphere in a viscous fluid. His work in this period is of fundamental importance for hydrodynamics (seeNAVIER-STORES EQUATIONS and STOKES’ LAW OF RESISTANCE OF A SPHERE). In 1852, Stokes described the phenomenon of fluorescence; he showed how the fluorescence spectrum depends on the spectrum of the exciting light (see), and he suggested a way of using fluorescence to investigate the ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum. Stokes’ other works on optics deal with problems of, for example, spectrum analysis, diffraction, the polarization of light waves, double refraction, the reflection of light by various surfaces, and the theory of optical instruments. In the field of optical instruments, he showed a way of improving achromatic refractor telescopes. Stokes also did important work in such areas as acoustics, heat conduction in crystals, and gravitation. His contributions to mathematics include papers on vector analysis (see), the theory of series, and the theory of definite integrals.

The unit of kinematic viscosity is named after Stokes. He was a member of many foreign academies, including the Military Medical Academy in St. Petersburg.


Mathematical and Physical Papers, vols. 1–5. Cambridge, 1880–1905.
Memoir and Scientific Correspondence, vols. 1–2. Cambridge, 1907.


Scott, B. E. “Men and Milestones in Optics: G. G. Stokes.” Appl. Optics, 1962, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 69–73.
References in periodicals archive ?
The non-conformist chapel at the cemetery was designed by Joseph Paxton and his son-in-law George Stokes
Cavern Menswear beat Overton 6-1 as Will King (2), Radford, Martin, Nixon and Paddy Kennedy netted while nine goals were scored in the Reunion Grenadier versus Halewood game with Doolan, Clark and Williams on target for Reunion but a hat-trick from George Stokes along with Ruddock, Grant and Wetherall goals saw Grenadier win 6-3.
Lunt and his team-mates had to agonise over his crucial try with video referee George Stokes left to decide whether or not he had been tackled before grounding the ball.
Officials - England: Phil Bentham, Richard Silverwood, Ben Thaler; James Child, Joe Cobb, Mark Craven, Robert Hicks, Chris Leatherbarrow, Tony Martin, Tim Roby, Clint Sharrad, George Stokes, Matt Thomason, Warren Turley.
In the 19th century, Claude Navier and George Stokes formulated equations that described the motion of fluids and gases.
The ill-discipline by the two sides became too much for referee George Stokes, who sent Kevin Larroyer to the sin-bin, put Luke Fahy on report and had several words with Crusaders captain Andy Moulsdale after the break.
He leaves three children, Arlene wife of Howard Goldberg of Wayne, NJ, Richard Kashnow and his wife Marcia of Atherton, CA and Lois wife of George Stokes of South Yarmouth; her grandchildren, Scott and Leslie Goldberg, Jason and Tonya Goldberg, Eric and Shany Kashnow and Jeremy Kashnow; five great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Investigating officer, PC George Stokes, said: "These incidents took place shortly after the two minutes' silence.
In the 19th Century, Claude-Louis Navier and George Stokes went on to formularise in more detail a set of equations that would model all types of flow, including such things as weather prediction, ocean currents, waterflqw, airflow around an aeroplane wing and the motion of stars inside a galaxy.
It also meant the fish and chip story continued for the Moody family as Frances' father, George Stokes, ran a mobile fish and chip van across the North-east in the 1930s.
Non-Conformist Chapel in London Road Cemetery - Classical tem-|ple designed by Paxton and his son-in law George Stokes but gutted by fire.
The Giants we desperate to add to their tally before the interval and on 39 minutes they came close when Brough sent second rower Brett Ferres bursting for the line, but in forcing his way over he was pulled up by referee George Stokes for leading with the shoulder - certainly a decision that was worth contesting