James Hopwood Jeans

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Jeans, James Hopwood


Born Sept. 11, 1877, in London; died Sept. 17, 1946, in the county of Surrey. British physicist and astronomer. Member of the Royal Society of London (1906). President of the Royal Astronomical Society from 1925 to 1927.

Jeans’ principal works were in theoretical physics (kinetic theory of gases, theory of radiation) and astrophysics. Independent of Lord Rayleigh he derived the formula for the spectral energy distribution of the radiation from a black-body, the so-called Rayleigh-Jeans equation. His works in astronomy dealt with equilibrium shapes of rotating liquid bodies and the problem of the structure and evolution of stars, stellar systems, and nebulas. Jeans proposed a cosmogonic hypothesis, which was popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s.


Dynamical Theory of Gases, 4th ed. Cambridge, 1925.
In Russian translation:
Vselennais vokrug nas. Mo scow-Leningrad, 1932.
Dvizhenie mirov. Moscow, 1933.