Physicists and astronomers
F Fahrenheit, Daniel
German-Dutch physicist. Invented the first accurate thermometer. Proposed
the Fahrenheit scale of temperature in 1724. Faraday,
Electromagnetic induction. Faraday's laws of electrochemistry. Developed
the first electric motor and dynamo. He not only refused a knighthood but also the
Presidency of the Royal Society. Laws of electrolysis. Idea of magnetic lines of force. First to
observe the rotation of the plane of polarisation in a magnetic field.
A Scots astronomer, painter, mechanician and philosopher.
Made an orrery. Wrote a book called "Astronomy Explained Upon Sir Isaac Newton's
Principles, and Made Easy to Those Who Have Not Studied Mathematics" which was to
become a favourite of Herschel's. It is thought that he learnt much of his basic astronomy
from it. Made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1763. Gave many lectures to help make
science popular. Fermi, Enrico
Developed the first atomic
pile in a squash court in Chicago in 1942. First controlled chain reaction. He was awarded
the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1938 for discovering new radioactive elements and for his
work on slow neutrons. Fitzgerald, George
contraction of an object in its direction of motion – known as the Lorentz-Fitzgerald
contraction. Fizeau, Armand Hippolyte Louis
French physicist. Measurement of the speed of light using a rotating toothed wheel. Used
Newton's rings to measure thermal expansion in 1864. Realised that the motion of a star
relative to the Earth affects the position of lines in its spectrum.
Fleming, Sir Ambrose
British physicist. Invented the thermionic valve. First to
use the diode valve for radio reception (1904).Foucault, Jean
Measurement of the speed of light using a rotating mirror in 1862.
Demonstrated the rotation of the Earth using a 20 m long the Foucault pendulum suspended
from the roof of the Pantheon in Paris in 1851. Franklin,
American scientist. Lightning conductor. Electricity in a thunderstorm.
Kite flying (1752). Introduced idea of positive and negative electricity. Electricity could be
produced by friction. Fraunhofer, Josef von
Germany he was the son of a poor glazier. Identified and explained the absorption lines in
the spectrum of the Sun. Theory of diffraction. Invented the diffraction grating by winding a
fine wire round two parallel screws. Fresnel, Augustin
French physicist. One of the founders of the wave theory of light. Bi-prism to
measure the wavelength of light. Developed the mathematical theory of diffraction,
interference and polarisation. Frisch, Otto Robert
physicist. Described the splitting of uranium atoms by neutrons. Proposed the name 'fission'
for this process.