Sir James Dewar

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Dewar, Sir James

(dyo͞o`ər), 1842–1923, British chemist and physicist, b. Scotland. He was professor of chemistry (from 1877) at the Royal Institution, London, and later was director of the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory there. He is best known for his work on the properties of matter at very low temperatures (approaching absolute zero) and the liquefaction of gases, in the course of which he invented the Dewar flask and liquefied (1898) and solidified (1899) hydrogen. With Sir Frederick Abel he invented the smokeless explosive cordite. He was knighted in 1904.


See his Collected Papers (2 vol., 1927).

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Anniversaries: 356BC: Birth of Alexander the Great; 1258: Salisbury Cathedral consecrated; 1803: Irish patriot Robert Emmet hanged for his part in trying to seize Dublin castle; 1842: Birth of chemist and physicist Sir James Dewar, inventor of the vacuum flask; 1854: The Allied armies defeated the Russians at the Battle of Alma in the Crimean War that produced six Victoria Crosses; 1869: Birth of comedian Sir George Robey; 1885: Birth of American jazz musician Jelly Roll Morton; 1967: Liner Queen Elizabeth II launched at Clydebank; 1984: Suicide bomber kills 40 after driving into US Embassy compound in Beirut with lorry-load of explosives.
He made the first vacuum flats for Sir James Dewar and the first oscillator valves for Sir Ambrose Fleming, and had much to do with the first radio valves.
1842: Sir James Dewar, Scottish physician, and inventor of the vacuum flask, was born