John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
The Lord Rayleigh



Rayleigh in 1904


Born  Langford Grove, Maldon, Essex, England

12 November 1842
Died  30 June 1919 Terling Place, Witham, Essex, England

(aged 76)
Nationality  British 
Alma mater  Trinity College, Cambridge Eton College 
Known for 
List
Discovery of argon
Plateau–Rayleigh instability Rayleigh waves Rayleigh scattering Rayleigh criterion Rayleigh distance Rayleigh–Bénard convection Rayleigh–Brace experiments Rayleigh–Faber–Krahn inequality Rayleigh's criterion Rayleigh's criterion (thermoacoustics) Rayleigh distribution Rayleigh interferometer Rayleigh's method of dimensional analysis Rayleigh–Ritz method Rayleigh quotient Rayleigh–Lorentz pendulum Rayleigh–Gans approximation Rayleigh dissipation function Rayleigh fading Rayleigh flow Rayleigh's formulas Rayleigh fractionation Rayleigh law Rayleigh number Rayleigh problem Rayleigh–Carson reciprocity Rayleigh–Plesset equation Rayleigh–Schrödinger perturbation theory Rayleigh Still Rayleigh–Taylor instability Rayleigh–Jeans catastrophe Rayleigh–Jeans law Rayleigh's equation Janzen–Rayleigh expansion Rayleigh limit Rayleigh test Rayleigh theorem for eigenvalues Rayleigh's energy theorem Rayleigh's theorem Acoustic streaming Antireflective coating Bending theory End correction Drag equation Dynamic soaring Duplex theory Optical theorem Photonic crystal Principle of similitude 
Spouse(s) 
Evelyn Balfour
(m. 1871) 
Children  3 sons 
Awards 

Scientific career  
Fields  Physics, optics, acoustics 
Institutions  Trinity College, Cambridge 
Academic advisors  
Notable students  
Signature  
John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, OM, PC, PRS (/ˈreɪli/; 12 November 1842 – 30 June 1919) was a British mathematician and physicist who made extensive contributions to science. He spent all of his academic career at the University of Cambridge. Among many honours, he received the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies." He served as president of the Royal Society from 1905 to 1908 and as chancellor of the University of Cambridge from 1908 to 1919.
Rayleigh provided the first theoretical treatment of the elastic scattering of light by particles much smaller than the light's wavelength, a phenomenon now known as "Rayleigh scattering", which notably explains why the sky is blue. He studied and described transverse surface waves in solids, now known as "Rayleigh waves". He contributed extensively to fluid dynamics, with concepts such as the Rayleigh number (a dimensionless number associated with natural convection), Rayleigh flow, the Rayleigh–Taylor instability, and Rayleigh's criterion for the stability of Taylor–Couette flow. He also formulated the circulation theory of aerodynamic lift. In optics, Rayleigh proposed a wellknown criterion for angular resolution. His derivation of the Rayleigh–Jeans law for classical blackbody radiation later played an important role in the birth of quantum mechanics (see Ultraviolet catastrophe). Rayleigh's textbook The Theory of Sound (1877) is still used today by acousticians and engineers.
Biography
Strutt was born on 12 November 1842 at Langford Grove in Maldon, Essex. In his early years he suffered from frailty and poor health. He attended Eton College and Harrow School (each for only a short period), before going on to the University of Cambridge in 1861 where he studied mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree (Senior Wrangler and 1st Smith's Prize) in 1865, and a Master of Arts in 1868. He was subsequently elected to a fellowship of Trinity. He held the post until his marriage to Evelyn Balfour, daughter of James Maitland Balfour, in 1871. He had three sons with her. In 1873, on the death of his father, John Strutt, 2nd Baron Rayleigh, he inherited the Barony of Rayleigh.
He was the second Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge (following James Clerk Maxwell), from 1879 to 1884. He first described dynamic soaring by seabirds in 1883, in the British journal Nature. From 1887 to 1905 he was professor of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution.
Around the year 1900 Rayleigh developed the duplex (combination of two) theory of human sound localisation using two binaural cues, interaural phase difference (IPD) and interaural level difference (ILD) (based on analysis of a spherical head with no external pinnae). The theory posits that we use two primary cues for sound lateralisation, using the difference in the phases of sinusoidal components of the sound and the difference in amplitude (level) between the two ears.
In 1904 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics "for his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies".
During the First World War, he was president of the government's Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which was located at the National Physical Laboratory, and chaired by Richard Glazebrook.
In 1919, Rayleigh served as president of the Society for Psychical Research. As an advocate that simplicity and theory be part of the scientific method, Rayleigh argued for the principle of similitude.
Rayleigh was elected fellow of the Royal Society on 12 June 1873, and served as president of the Royal Society from 1905 to 1908. From time to time he participated in the House of Lords; however, he spoke up only if politics attempted to become involved in science.
Many of the papers that he wrote on lubrication are now recognized as early classical contributions to the field of tribology. For these contributions, he was named as one of the 23 "Men of Tribology" by Duncan Dowson.
He died on 30 June 1919, at his home in Witham, Essex. He was succeeded, as the 4th Lord Rayleigh, by his son Robert John Strutt, another wellknown physicist. Lord Rayleigh was buried in the graveyard of All Saints' Church in Terling in Essex. There is a memorial to him by Derwent Wood in St Andrew's Chapel at Westminster Abbey.
Religious views
Rayleigh was an Anglican. Though he did not write about the relationship of science and religion, he retained a personal interest in spiritual matters.
Still, he had his wish and the quotation was printed in the fivevolume collection of scientific papers.
He held an interest in parapsychology and was an early member of the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). He was not convinced of spiritualism but remained open to the possibility of supernatural phenomena. Rayleigh was the president of the SPR in 1919. He gave a presidential address in the year of his death but did not come to any definite conclusions.
Honours and awards
The lunar crater Rayleigh as well as the Martian crater Rayleigh were named in his honour. The asteroid 22740 Rayleigh was named after him on 1 June 2007. A type of surface waves are known as Rayleigh waves. The rayl, a unit of specific acoustic impedance, is also named for him. Rayleigh was also awarded with (in chronological order):
 Smith's Prize (1864)
 Royal Medal (1882)
 Member of the American Philosophical Society (1886)
 Matteucci Medal (1894)
 Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (1897)
 Copley Medal (1899)
 Nobel Prize in Physics (1904)
 Elliott Cresson Medal (1913)
 Rumford Medal (1914)
Lord Rayleigh was among the original recipients of the Order of Merit (OM) in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902, and received the order from King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 8 August 1902.
He received the degree of Doctor mathematicae (honoris causa) from the Royal Frederick University on 6 September 1902, when they celebrated the centennial of the birth of mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.
Sir William Ramsay, his coworker in the investigation to discover argon described Rayleigh as "the greatest man alive" while speaking to Lady Ramsay during his last illness.
H. M. Hyndman said of Rayleigh that "no man ever showed less consciousness of great genius".
See also
In Spanish: Lord Rayleigh para niños
 Acoustic levitation
 Acoustic radiation pressure
 Aeolian harp
 Breathfigure selfassembly
 Calibrated airspeed
 Capillary breakup rheometry
 Clark cell
 Dawes' limit
 Extremal principles in nonequilibrium thermodynamics
 Eigenvalue perturbation
 Group velocity
 Hanle effect
 Helmholtz minimum dissipation theorem
 Laminar–turbulent transition
 Langmuir–Blodgett trough
 Machmeter
 Moffatt eddies
 Multiple scattering theory
 Parametric oscillator
 Rayl, a unit of specific acoustic impedance.
 Rayleigh frequency
 Rayleigh–Sommerfeld diffraction theory
 Rayleigh mixture distribution
 Rayleigh Medal (Institute of Acoustics)
 Rayleigh Medal (Institute of Physics)
 Rayleigh bandwidth (signal processing)
 Rayleigh quotient iteration
 Rayleigh's quotient in vibrations analysis
 Rayleigh sky model
 Representative layer theory
 Talbot effect
 Thermoacoustics
 Thermoacoustic heat engine
 Virial theorem
 Waveguide (acoustics)
 Waveguide (radio frequency)
 WKB approximation