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Physicists and astronomers


Mach, Ernst 1838-1916
Austrian physicist and philosopher who discovered the Mach effect – motion of sources faster than the wave speed.

Maiman, Theodore Harold 1927-
American physicist. Constructed the first working laser in 1960.

Malus, Étienne Louis 1775-1812
Krench physicist and military engineer who fought in Napoleon's army. Favoured the corpuscular theory if light. Discovered polarisation by reflection. Malus' Law.

Marconi, Guglielmo 1874-1945
Radio transmission across the Atlantic in 1901. Nobel Prize winner.

Maskelyne, Nevil 1732-1811
British astronomer. Astronomer Royal 1765-1811. Measurement of the Universal constant of Gravitation using Schiehallion, a mountain in Perthshire. Observed a transit of Venus from St Helena.

Maxwell, James Clerk 1831-1879
Born in Scotland. Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism published in 1873 rivals Newton's Principia on Mechanics. He devised the formulae known as Maxwell's equations of electromagnetic radiation. Proposed the mathematical theory of Electromagnetic induction and predicted the existence of electromagnetic waves. Discovered that light consisted of electromagnetic waves.

Meintner, Lise 1878-1968
Austrian physicist. Discovered protoactinium (1918). Liquid drop theory of the nucleus. Fission of a nucleus by neutron bombardment (1934).

Mendeleev, Dmitri Ivanovich 1834-1907
Russian chemist. Table of the elements. Predicted the existence of then unknown elements to fill the spaces in his table.

Messier, Charles 1730-1817
French astronomer. Catalogue of nebulae published in 1781. His main interest was comets, he discovered twenty in his lifetime.

Michelson, Albert Abraham 1852-1931
Born in Poland and then emigrated to the U.S.A when he was two years old. Measurement of the speed of light. Measured the diameter of stars with a Michelson interferometer. The Michelson-Morley experiment disproves the existence of the ether. He gained the Nobel prize for Physics, the first American to do so, in 1907.

Millikan, Robert Andrews 1868-1953
An American Physicist. Measurement of the charge on an electron (1911) and the experimental study of the photoelectric effect (1914) earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923.

Morley, Edward Williams 1838-1923
American physicist. Work with Michelson on the experiment to disprove the existence of the ether.

Moseley, Henry Gwyn Jeffreys 1887-1915
British physicist. Worked on X ray spectra.

© Keith Gibbs 2016