James Hall

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Hall, James


Born Jan. 17, 1761, in Dunglass, Haddingtonshire; died June 23, 1832, in Edinburgh. Scottish geologist, the founder of experimental geology. Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1784; president from 1812); fellow of the Royal Society of London (1806).

Hall studied at Cambridge University from 1777 to 1779 and at the University of Edinburgh from 1781 to 1783. He was one of the first to use experiments in geology. He reproduced folding phenomena. By melting various magmatic rocks—particularly basalt—he obtained glassy or crystalline synthetic rocks, depending on the cooling time. He also transformed limestone into a marblelike substance. By his experiments, Hall confirmed J. Hutton’s views on the origin of intrusive rocks.


Eyles, V. A. “Sir James Hall, Bt. (1761–1832).” Endeavour, 1961, vol.20.


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