Sir George Gabriel Stokes, Irish mathematical physicist, c 1880s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Carte de visite photograph of Sir George Gabriel Stokes (1819-1903), Irish mathematical physicist who contributed to fluid dynamics and made advances in the areas of hydrodynamics, diffraction and fluorescence. He has laws of hydrodynamics and fluorescence named after him, although both laws do not always hold. He also pioneered studies of gravity variations on the Earth's surface, applying geophysical methods which are used today in stratigraphic studies to asist oil prospecting. Stokes was Lucasian Profesor of Mathematics at Cambridge University from 1849 until his death in 1903, and also served as President of the Royal Society between 1885 and 1890. He was made a baronet by Queen Victoria in 1889.