George Darwin

Sir George Howard Darwin, FRS (9 July 1845 – Cambridge, 7 December 1912)[1] was an English astronomer and mathematician, the second son and fifth child of Charles and Emma Darwin.


Darwin was born at Down House. He studied under Charles Pritchard, and entered St John's College, Cambridge in 1863, though he soon moved to Trinity College,[2] where his tutor was Edward John Routh. He graduated as second wrangler in 1868, when he was also placed second for the Smith's Prize and was appointed to a college fellowship. He was admitted to the bar in 1872, but returned to science.[2] In 1883 he became Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy at the University of Cambridge.

He studied tidal forces involving the Sun, Moon, and Earth, and formulated the fission theory of Moon formation.[3]

He won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1892, and also later served as president of that organization.
Sir George Howard Darwin, oil on canvas, Mark Gertler
Lady George Darwin, pastel, Cecilia Beaux, 1889

Darwin married Martha (Maud) du Puy of Philadelphia. They had two sons and two daughters:

* Gwen Raverat (1885–1957), artist.
* Charles Galton Darwin (1887–1962), physicist.
* Margaret Elizabeth Darwin (1890–1974), married Sir Geoffrey Keynes.
* William Robert Darwin (1894–1970)


1. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: DEC 1912 3b 552 CAMBRIDGE - George H. Darwin, aged 67
2. ^ a b Darwin, George Howard in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
3. ^ Sir George Darwin

Works by G. H. Darwin

* "Tides" (Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition, 1875–89)
* The tides and kindred phenomena in the solar system (Boston, Houghton, 1899)
* Problems connected with the tides of a viscous spheroid (London, Harrison and Sons, 1879–1882)
* Scientific papers (Volume 1): Oceanic tides and lunar disturbances of gravity (Cambridge : University Press, 1907)
* Scientific papers (Volume 2): Tidal friction and cosmogony. (Cambridge : University Press, 1908)
* Scientific papers (Volume 3): Figures of equilibrium of rotating liquid and geophysical investigations. (Cambridge : University Press, 1908)
* Scientific papers (Volume 4): Periodic orbits and miscellaneous papers. (Cambridge : University Press, 1911)
* Scientific papers (Volume 5) Supplementary volume, containing biographical memoirs by Sir Francis Darwin and Professor E. W. Brown, lectures on Hill's lunar theory, etc... (Cambridge : University Press, 1916)
* The Scientific Papers of Sir George Darwin. 1907. Cambridge University Press (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 9781108004497)

External links

* O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "George Darwin", MacTutor History of Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews, .
* "The Genesis of Double Stars" - by George Darwin, from A.C. Seward's Darwin and Modern Science (1909).
* Archival material relating to George Darwin listed at the UK National Register of Archives
* details of correspondence



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