LeConte, John(1818–91) scientist, teacher; born in Liberty County, Ga. (brother of geologist Joseph LeConte). Trained as a physician, he taught physics at the University of California (1869–91). The author of numerous papers, his most important contribution was the discovery of sensitive flames (1858), as well as studies of the speed of sound (1864) and underwater vibrations (1882).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.