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Physicists and astronomers


Carnot, Nicolas Léonard Sadi 1796-1832
A French physicist and engineer who founded the science of Thermodynamics. Carnot cycle for heat engines (1824).

Cavalieri Francesco Bonaventura 1598-1647
Italian mathematician, a Jesuit priest. Professor at Bologna from 1629. Proposed the lens makers formula. He also invented the method of indivisibles (1635) the forerunner of calculus.

Cavendish, Henry 1731-1810
British physicist and chemist. Identified hydrogen in 1776. Used the torsion balance to make the first measurement of the Universal Constant of Gravitation in a laboratory. This was done in a shed on Clapham Common on the outskirts of London. Experimental proof of the inverse square law of electrostatics (1772).

Celsius, Anders 1701-1744
Swedish astronomer who proposed the Celsius scale of temperature in 1742

Chadwick, James 1891-1974
British nuclear physicist. Discovered the neutron for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1935.

Charles, Jacques Alexandre Cesar 1746-1823
French physicist and mathematician. Discovered the law named after him for the expansion of a gas – Charles' Law

Chladni, Ernst Florens Friedrich 1756-1827
German physicist. Standing waves in dust on a plate. One of the founders of the science of acoustics. Invented the euphonium.

Clausius, Rudolf Julius Emmanuel 1822-1888
German physicist. Kinetic theory of gases (1857). Foundations of thermodynamics and its second law.

Cockcroft, Sir John Douglas 1897-1967
British nuclear physicist. Electrostatic accelerator. (see Walton). In 1932 he achieved (with Walton) the first artificial disintegration of a nucleus

Compton, Arthur Holly 1892-1962
American physicist. Compton effect – gamma ray scattering. Nobel Prize for Physics in 1927. He also made large contributions to the development of the atomic bomb.

Copernicus, Nicholas 1473-1543
Born in Torun, Poland. Copernicus is the Latin form of his name. Geocentric theory of the solar system. In 1514 he 'published' a small hand written book which he gave to some of his friends. In it he proposed the following:
There is no one centre in the universe.
The Earth's centre is not the centre of the universe.
The centre of the universe is near the sun.
The distance from the Earth to the sun is imperceptible compared with the distance to the stars.
The rotation of the Earth accounts for the apparent daily rotation of the stars.
The apparent annual cycle of movements of the sun is caused by the Earth revolving round it.
The apparent retrograde motion of the planets is caused by the motion of the Earth from which one observes.

Coriolis, Gaspard Gustave de 1792-1843
Discovered the Coriolis force. Gave the name kinetic energy to the quantity ½ mv2

Cornu, Alfred 1841-1902
French physicist. Cornu's spiral. Measured the speed of light by a modified version of the Foucault method.

Coulomb, Charles Augustin 1736-1806
Born in Angouleme, France. Developed the torsion balance as an accurate way of measuring the forces between electric charges. Also worked on magnetic fields. Gives his name to the law of force between electric charges proposed by Joseph Priestley in 1766. Invented a form of torsion balance.

Crookes, Sir William 1832-1919
British physicist and chemist. Electron studies. Discharge in gases. Properties of cathode rays.

Curie, Marie 1867-1934
Radioactivity. Nobel Prize in 1903 for discovering radioactivity. Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1911 for discovering radium and polonium and isolating radium.

Curie, Pierre 1859-1906
Radioactivity. Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903 for discovering radioactivity.
© Keith Gibbs 2016