John Tyndall

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Tyndall, John

(tĭn`dəl), 1820–93, British physicist, b. Ireland. He became (1853) professor of natural philosophy at the Royal Institution and in 1867 succeeded Michael FaradayFaraday, Michael
, 1791–1867, English scientist. The son of a blacksmith, he was apprenticed to a bookbinder at the age of 14. He had little formal education, but acquired a store of scientific knowledge through reading and by attending educational lectures including, in
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, his friend and colleague, as superintendent there. His chief researches were in the fields of light, sound, and radiant heat. He made significant studies of Alpine glaciers. He was known as a lecturer and writer, and his gifted expositions of science for the layman were widely translated. The Tyndall effect (see colloidcolloid
[Gr.,=gluelike], a mixture in which one substance is divided into minute particles (called colloidal particles) and dispersed throughout a second substance. The mixture is also called a colloidal system, colloidal solution, or colloidal dispersion.
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) is named for him.


See biography by R. Jackson (2018).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tyndall, John


Born Aug. 2, 1820, in Leighlin Bridge, Ireland; died Dec. 4, 1893, in Hind Head, Surrey. British physicist. Fellow of the Royal Society of London (1852).

After graduating from the local national school in 1839, Tyndall worked as a topographer and geodesist for military organizations from 1840 to 1843 and as a railway engineer from 1844 to 1847. He graduated from the mechanics’ institute at Preston in 1844. From 1847 to 1848 and from 1851 to 1853 he taught at Queenwood College in Hampshire. Between 1848 and 1851 he studied at the universities of Marburg and Berlin. Appointed a professor at the Royal Institution in London in 1853, he became its superintendent in 1867.

Tyndall’s main works dealt with magnetism, acoustics, the absorption of thermal radiation by gases and vapors, and the scattering of light in media containing suspended particles (see). He also investigated the structure and motion of glaciers in the Alps. Tyndall wrote several popular science books that were translated into many languages.


In Russian translation:
Populiarnye lektsii, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1885.
Svet: Shest’ lektsii. St. Petersburg, 1877.
Teplota, rassmatrivaemaia kak rod dvizheniia. St. Petersburg, 1864.
Faradei i ego olkrytiia. St. Petersburg, 1871.
Formy vody v oblakakh i rekakh, vo l’de i lednikakh. Moscow, 1873.
Lektsii ob elektrichestve, 3rd ed. St. Petersburg, 1885.


Eve, A. S., and C. H. Creasey. Life and Work of John Tyndall. London, 1945.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Smith, 34, added: 'John Tyndall has gone on record several times to talk about his evenings with Alan Clark.
On Tyndall's pantheism, see Ruth Barton, "John Tyndall, Pantheist: A Rereading of the Belfast Address," Osiris, 2nd series, 3 (1987): 111-134.
Scientists have known about the greenhouse effect since the 1870s, when it was quantified in experiments by British physicist John Tyndall. The original concern that combustion of fossil fuels might change the surface temperature dates back to 1896, when Svante Arrhenius published a paper in the journal Philosophical Transactions hypothesizing that doubling atmospheric carbon dioxide would raise the surface temperature around 5 [degrees] C (9 [degrees] F), and going half-way to a doubling (we are beyond that point already) would warm the surface 3 [degrees] C (5.4 [degrees] F).
Eatwell's indifference to such contradictions may help explain why he insists that Colonel de La Rocque, the leader of the largest and fastest-growing movement on the French right between 1936 and 1938--the Croix de Feu/ Parti Social Francais--was not fascist but that British leaders like Oswald Mosley and John Tyndall who, like La Rocque, "turned to the potential of the ballot box to establish a government based on a corporate state and guided by strong leadership" were fascist (336).
Ruskin's own first edition copies of John Tyndall's The Glaciers of the Alps (1860) and The Forms of Water (1872) are preserved in the Ruskin collection currently held in Bembridge School on the Isle of Wight.(1) A consideration of Ruskin's annotations in them provides some additional material for the gradually emerging account of the details, nature, and scope of Ruskin's argument both with John Tyndall himself (1820-93) and with what Ruskin perceived to be some of the dominant tendencies of modern science generally, imagined in this case as represented by Tyndall.
John Tyndall, the Royal Institution's Professor of Natural Philosophy from 1853 to 1887, is not customarily thought of as a poet.
In 1863 the Irish physicist John Tyndall (1820-1893) pointed out that such gases as carbon dioxide and water vapor are transparent to the visible light that reaches Earth's surface from the Sun, but rather opaque to the infrared radiations that the Earth gives off to space when it cools down at night.
THE ASCENT OF JOHN TYNDALL: Victorian Scientist, Mountaineer and Public Intellectual
Its founder, former NF chairman John Tyndall, wanted to give the movement a "respectable" face to lever it into mainstream politics.
"One of the things I'll never forget was being at a meeting with John Tyndall, the founder of the BNP and listening to him ranting - a racist, anti-semitic attack on Asians, blacks and Jews."
The nineteen essays in this volume were initially presented at a 2004 conference of two nineteenth-century societies under a broader theme of "structures of belief." That wider umbrella fits the overall content of the papers better, even if it might be more puzzling as a title for the book, for some essays deal with persons whose views would be hard-pressed to be categorized as either evangelical or Catholic, such as those on William Warren Baldwin's 1819 volume on the civilization of Aboriginal Canadians, Max Arthur Macauliffe's embrace of Sikhism (albeit in the interests of empire, contends the author), or John Tyndall's Belfast address of 1874 promoting evolution and receiving a hostile religious response from both Catholics and Protestants.
Charges were also brought against BNP founder John Tyndall, but his case was formally dropped yesterday following his death earlier this week.