Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/483

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THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE.

SIR GEORGE GABRIEL STOKES.

In the death, on February 1, 1903, of Sir George Gabriel Stokes, the mathematico-physical sciences have lost one of their most eminent representatives. For sixty years he has been a leader in the British school of mathematical physicists, a school including as peers and contemporaries George Green, Sir William R. Hamilton, Sir George Airy, James Clerke Maxwell, Lord Kelvin and Lord Rayleigh.

Stokes was born at Skreen, County Sligo, Ireland, in 1819. He was educated at Bristol College, and at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he was senior wrangler in 1841. He was

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SIR GEORGE GABRIEL STOKES.

elected a fellow of Pembroke the same year. In 1849 he became Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, and he held this position up to the time of his death. He served his college and university also in numerous other positions of honor, having been master of Pembroke for many years and a member of parliament for Cambridge from 1887 to 1892.

The fields of work to which Stokes devoted his attention chiefly are those of hydromechanics, including the theories of fluid motion and sound; the undulatory theory of light, including among his more recent papers researches on the X-rays; and physical