Joseph Larmor

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Larmor, Joseph


Born July 11, 1857, in Magheragall, County Antrim, Ireland; died May 19, 1942. English physicist; member (from 1892), secretary (1901–12), and vice-president (1912–14) of the London Royal Society.

Larmor graduated from Cambridge University in 1879 and became Lucasian professor of mathematics there in 1903. His scientific works included electron theory, the electrodynamics of moving mediums, and mathematical physics. He was the first to describe the phenomenon of Larmor precession (1895). In 1900, independently of H. A. Lorentz, he arrived at the relativistic transformation of coordinates and time (the Lorentz transformation) and the formula for the summation of velocities. He prepared for publication the works of G. G. Stokes, J. C. Maxwell, W. Thomson, and H. Cavendish.


Aether and Matter. Cambridge, 1900.
Mathematical and Physical Papers, vols. 1–2. Cambridge, 1929.


Lodge, O. “The Work of Sir J. Larmor.” Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, 1929, vol. 8, no. 51.
Whittaker, E. T. A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity, vols. 1–2. London, 1951–53.
Whyte, L. L. “A Forerunner of Twentieth Century Physics.” Nature, 1960, vol. 186, no. 4730.