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Encyclopedia > David Brewster
Sir David Brewster.
Sir David Brewster.
Sir David Brewster.

Sir David Brewster FRS, (11 December 178110 February 1868) was a Scottish scientist, inventor and writer. 19th century photograph. ... 19th century photograph. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... December 11 is the 345th day of the year (346th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1781 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... is the 41st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1868 (MDCCCLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... This article is about the country. ...


He was born at Jedburgh, where his father, a teacher of high reputation, was rector of the grammar school. At the age of twelve, he was sent to the University of Edinburgh, being intended for the clergy. However, he had already shown a strong inclination for natural science, and this had been fostered by his intimacy with a "self-taught philosopher, astronomer and mathematician," as Sir Walter Scott called him, of great local fame—James Veitch of Inchbonny, who was particularly skilful in making telescopes. Jedburgh (Referred to locally Jeddart or Jethart) is a town and former royal burgh in the Scottish Borders. ... The word rector (ruler, from the Latin regere) has a number of different meanings, but all of them indicate someone who is in charge of something. ... A grammar school is a school that may, depending on regional usage as exemplified below, provide either secondary education or, a much less common usage, primary education (also known as elementary). Grammar schools trace their origins back to medieval Europe, as schools in which university preparatory subjects, such as Latin... The University of Edinburgh (Scottish Gaelic: ), founded in 1582,[4] is a renowned centre for teaching and research in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... The Michelson–Morley experiment was used to disprove that light propagated through a luminiferous aether. ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... A giant Hubble mosaic of the Crab Nebula, a supernova remnant Astronomy (also frequently referred to as astrophysics) is the scientific study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earths atmosphere (such as the cosmic background radiation). ... Euclid, Greek mathematician, 3rd century BC, as imagined by by Raphael in this detail from The School of Athens. ... Raeburns portrait of Sir Walter Scott in 1822. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Though he duly finished his theological course and was licensed to preach, Brewster's other interests distracted him from the duties of his profession. In 1799 fellow-student, Henry Brougham, persuaded him to study the diffraction of light. The results of his investigations were communicated from time to time in papers to the Philosophical Transactions of London and other scientific journals. The fact that other philosophers, notably Etienne Louis Malus and Augustin Fresnel, were pursuing the same investigations contemporaneously in France does not invalidate Brewster's claim to independent discovery, even though in one or two cases the priority must be assigned to others. A lesser-known classmate of his, Thomas Dick, also went on to become a popular astronomical writer. Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... 1799 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... The intensity pattern formed on a screen by diffraction from a square aperture Diffraction refers to various phenomena associated with wave propagation, such as the bending, spreading and interference of waves passing by an object or aperture that disrupts the wave. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, or , is the oldest scientific journal printed in the English-speaking world, and was only three months shy of being the oldest in the world. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... Etienne-Louis Malus (July 23, 1775 - February 24, 1812) was a French officer, engineer, physicist, and mathematician. ... Augustin Fresnel Augustin-Jean Fresnel (pronounced fray-NELL) (May 10, 1788 – July 14, French physicist who contributed significantly to the establishment of the wave theory of light and optics. ... Thomas Dick (1774 - 1857), a popular Scottish scientific teacher and writer known for his works on astronomy. ...


The most important subjects of his inquiries can be enumerated under the following five headings:

  1. The laws of polarization by reflection and refraction, and other quantitative laws of phenomena
  2. The discovery of the polarizing structure induced by heat and pressure
  3. The discovery of crystals with two axes of double refraction, and many of the laws of their phenomena, including the connection between optical structure and crystalline forms
  4. The laws of metallic reflection
  5. Experiments on the absorption of light.

In this line of investigation, the prime importance belongs to the discovery In electrodynamics, polarization (also spelled polarisation) is the property of electromagnetic waves, such as light, that describes the direction of their transverse electric field. ... The reflection of a bridge in Indianapolis, Indianas Central Canal. ... The straw seems to be broken, due to refraction of light as it emerges into the air. ... For other uses, see Heat (disambiguation) In physics, heat, symbolized by Q, is energy transferred from one body or system to another as a result of a difference in temperature. ... The use of water pressure - the Captain Cook Memorial Jet in Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, Australia. ... It has been suggested that Properties and uses of metals be merged into this article or section. ...

  1. of the connection between the refractive index and the polarizing angle
  2. of biaxial crystals, and
  3. of the production of double refraction by irregular heating.

These discoveries were promptly recognized. So early as the year 1807 the degree of LL.D. was conferred upon Brewster by Marischal College, Aberdeen; in 1815 he was made a member of the Royal Society of London, and received the Copley medal; in 1818 he received the Rumford Medal of the society; and in 1816 the French Institute awarded him one-half of the prize of three thousand francs for the two most important discoveries in physical science made in Europe during the two preceding years. Year 1807 (MDCCCVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ... Legum Doctor (English: Doctor of Laws; abbreviated to LL.D.) In the UK the LL.D. is a higher doctorate awarded on the basis of exceptionally insightful and distinctive publications, containing significant and original contributions to the science or study of law. ... Marschal College viewed from Upper Kirkgate Marischal College was founded in 1593 in Aberdeen by George Keith, 5th Earl Marischal of Scotland. ... This article is about the Scottish city. ... April 5-12: Mount Tambora explodes, changing climate. ... The premises of The Royal Society in London (first four properties only). ... The Copley Medal is a scientific award for work in any field of science, the highest award granted by the Royal Society of London. ... 1818 (MDCCCXVIII) is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar. ... In 1796, Benjamin Thompson, known as Count Rumford, gave $5000 separately to the Royal Society of London and the other by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences to give awards every two years for outstanding scientific research on heat or light. ... 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The Institut de France (French Institute) is a French learned society, grouping five académies, the most famous of which is probably the Académie française. ...


Among the non-scientific public his fame spread more effectually by his rediscovery in about 1815 of the kaleidoscope, for which there was a great demand in both the United Kingdom and the United States. An instrument of higher interest, the stereoscope, which, though of much later date (18491850), may be mentioned here, since along with the kaleidoscope it did more than anything else to popularize his name, was not, as has often been asserted, the invention of Brewster. Sir Charles Wheatstone discovered its principle and applied it as early as 1838 to the construction of a cumbersome but effective instrument, in which the binocular pictures were made to combine by means of mirrors. To Brewster is due the merit of suggesting the use of lenses for uniting the dissimilar pictures; and accordingly the lenticular stereoscope may fairly be said to be his invention. April 5-12: Mount Tambora explodes, changing climate. ... A toy kaleidoscope tube Pattern as seen through a kaleidoscope tube Pattern as seen through a kaleidoscope tube Pattern as seen through a kaleidoscope tube The kaleidoscope is a tube of mirrors containing, loose coloured beads or pebbles, or other small coloured objects. ... Pocket stereoskop WILD 1985 Old Zeiss pocket stereoscope with original test image Stereo card of a stereoscope in use. ... 1849 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... For the game, see: 1850 (board game) 1850 (MDCCCL) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday [1] of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Charles Wheatstone Sir Charles Wheatstone (February 6, 1802 - October 19, 1875) was the British inventor of many innovations including the English concertina the Stereoscope an early form of microphone the Playfair cipher (named for Lord Playfair, the person who publicized it) He was a major figure in the development of... | Jöns Jakob Berzelius, discoverer of protein 1838 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... A mirror, reflecting a vase. ... A lens. ...


A much more valuable practical result of Brewster's optical researches was the improvement of the British lighthouse system. It is true that Fresnel, who had also the satisfaction of being the first to put it into operation, perfected the dioptric apparatus independently. However, it is indisputable that Brewster was earlier in the field than Fresnel; that he described the dioptric apparatus in 1812; that he pressed its adoption on those in authority at least as early as 1820, two years before Fresnel suggested it; and that it was finally introduced into lighthouses mainly by his persistent efforts. A HDR image of a traditional lighthouse For other uses, see Lighthouse (disambiguation). ... For the overture by Tchaikovsky, see 1812 Overture; For the wars, see War of 1812 (USA - United Kingdom) or Patriotic War of 1812 (France - Russia) For the Siberia Airlines plane crashed over the Black Sea on October 4, 2001, see Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 1812 was a leap year starting... 1820 was a leap year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ...


Brewster's own discoveries, important though they were, were not his only; perhaps not even his chief, service to science. He began literary work in 1799 as a regular contributor to the Edinburgh Magazine, of which he acted as editor at the age of twenty. In 1807, he undertook the editorship of the newly projected Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, of which the first part appeared in 1808, and the last not until 1830. The work was strongest in the scientific department, and many of its most valuable articles were from the pen of the editor. At a later period he was one of the leading contributors to the Encyclopedia Britannica (seventh and eighth editions), the articles on electricity, hydrodynamics, magnetism, microscope, optics, stereoscope, voltaic electricity, etc., being from his pen. 1799 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1807 (MDCCCVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar). ... Year 1808 (MDCCCVIII) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix commemorates the July Revolution 1830 (MDCCCXXX) was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1913 advertisement for the 11th edition, with the slogan When in doubt — look it up in the Encyclopædia Britannica The Encyclopædia Britannica (properly spelled with æ, the ae-ligature) was first published in 1768–1771 as The Britannica was an important early English-language general encyclopedia and is still... Lightning strikes during a night-time thunderstorm. ... Hydrodynamics is fluid dynamics applied to liquids, such as water, alcohol, oil, and blood. ... Magnetic lines of force of a bar magnet shown by iron filings on paper In physics, magnetism is one of the phenomena by which materials exert attractive or repulsive forces on other materials. ... Robert Hookes microscope (1665) - an engineered device used to study living systems. ... For the book by Sir Isaac Newton, see Opticks. ... Pocket stereoskop WILD 1985 Old Zeiss pocket stereoscope with original test image Stereo card of a stereoscope in use. ... Symbols representing a single Cell (top) and Battery (bottom), used in circuit diagrams. ...


In 1819 Brewster undertook further editorial work by establishing, in conjunction with Robert Jameson (17741854), the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, which took the place of the Edinburgh magazine. The first ten volumes (18191824) were published under the joint editorship of Brewster and Jameson, the remaining four volumes (18251826) being edited by Jameson alone. After parting company with Jameson, Brewster started the Edinburgh Journal of Science in 1824, sixteen volumes of which appeared under his editorship during the years 18241832, with very many articles from his own pen. 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... For the botanist (1832 - 1908), see Robert Jameson at Gerbera. ... Chesma Column in Tsarskoe Selo, commemorating the end of the Russo-Turkish War. ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1819 common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway 1825 (MDCCCXXV) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The oldest surviving photograph, Nicéphore Niépce, circa 1826 1826 (MDCCCXXVI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1832 (MDCCCXXXII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a leap year starting on Friday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


To the transactions of various learned societies, he contributed from first to last between three and four hundred papers, and few of his contemporaries wrote so much for the various reviews. In the North British Review alone seventy-five articles of his appeared. A list of his larger separate works will be found below. Special mention, however, must be made of the most important of them all–his biography of Sir Isaac Newton. In 1831 he published a short popular account of the philosopher's life in Murray's Family Library; but it was not until 1855 that he was able to issue the much fuller Memoirs of the Life, Writings and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton, a work which embodied the results of more than twenty years' patient investigation of original manuscripts and all other available sources. Sir Isaac Newton FRS (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) [ OS: 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727][1] was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Year 1855 (MDCCCLV) was a common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar (or a common year starting on Saturday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ...


Brewster's relations as editor brought him into frequent communication with the most eminent scientific men, and he was naturally among the first to recognize the benefit that would accrue from regular intercourse among workers in the field of science. In an article in the Quarterly Review, he made a suggestion for "an association of our nobility, clergy, gentry and philosophers," which was taken up by others and found speedy realization in the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Its first meeting was held at York in 1831; and Brewster, along with Charles Babbage and Sir John F. W. Herschel, had the chief part in shaping its constitution. Quarterly Review was a review journal started by John Murray, the celebrated London publisher, in March 1809 (though it bore a title page date of February), in rivalry with the Edinburgh Review, which had been seven years in possession of the field, and was exerting, as he judged, an evil... The British Association or the British Association for the Advancement of Science or the BA is a learned society with the object of promoting science, directing general attention to scientific matters, and facilitating intercourse between scientific workers. ... York is a city in North Yorkshire, England, at the confluence of the rivers Ouse and Foss. ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Charles Babbage FRS (26 December 1791 – 18 October 1871) was an English mathematician, philosopher, mechanical engineer and (proto-) computer scientist who originated the idea of a programmable computer. ... John Herschel Sir John Frederick William Herschel (7 March 1792 – 11 May 1871) was an English mathematician and astronomer. ...


In the same year in which the British Association held its first meeting, Brewster received the honour of knighthood and the decoration of the Guelphic order of Hanover. In 1838, he was appointed principal of the united colleges of St Salvator and St Leonard, University of St Andrews. In 1849, he acted as president of the British Association and was elected one of the eight foreign associates of the Institute of France in succession to J. J. Berzelius; and ten years later, he accepted the office of principal of the University of Edinburgh, the duties of which he discharged until within a few months of his death. | Jöns Jakob Berzelius, discoverer of protein 1838 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... St Marys College Bute Medical School St Leonards College[5][6] Affiliations 1994 Group Website http://www. ... 1849 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The Institut de France (French Institute) is a French learned society, grouping five académies, the most famous of which is probably the Académie française. ...


Of high-strung and nervous temperament, Brewster was somewhat irritable in matters of controversy; but he was repeatedly subjected to serious provocation. He was a man of highly honourable and fervently religious character. In estimating his place among scientific discoverers, the chief thing to be borne in mind is that the bent of his genius was not characteristically mathematical. His method was empirical, and the laws, which he established, were generally the result of repeated experiment. To the ultimate explanation of the phenomena with which he dealt he, contributed nothing, and it is noteworthy in a connection that if he did not maintain to the end of his life the corpuscular theory he never explicitly adopted the wave theory of light. Few would dispute the verdict of James D. Forbes, an editor of the eighth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica: "His scientific glory is different in kind from that of Young and Fresnel; but the discoverer of the law of polarization of biaxial crystals, of optical mineralogy, and of double refraction by compression, will always occupy a foremost rank in the intellectual history of the age." In addition to the various works of Brewster already mentioned, the following may be added: Notes and Introduction to Carlyle's translation of Legendre's Elements of Geometry (1824); Treatise on Optics (1831); Letters on Natural Magic, addressed to Sir Walter Scott (1831); The Martyrs of Science, or the Lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler (1841); More Worlds than One (1854). 1913 advertisement for the 11th edition, with the slogan When in doubt — look it up in the Encyclopædia Britannica The Encyclopædia Britannica (properly spelled with æ, the ae-ligature) was first published in 1768–1771 as The Britannica was an important early English-language general encyclopedia and is still... Thomas Young, English scientist Thomas Young (June 13, 1773-May 10, 1829) was an English polymath, contributing to the scientific understanding of vision, light, solid mechanics, energy, physiology, and Egyptology. ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... Leopold I 1831 (MDCCCXXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... 1841 is a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... 1854 (MDCCCLIV) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...


See also Brewster's angle. An illustration of the polaristion of light which is incident on an interface at Brewsters angle. ...


References

Wikisource has an original article from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica about:
Brewster, Sir David

Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... Encyclopædia Britannica, the eleventh edition The Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition (1910–1911) is perhaps the most famous edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature is a collection of biographies of writers by John W. Cousin, published around 1910. ...

External links

Academic offices
Preceded by
John Lee
Edinburgh University Principals
18591868
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Grant
Awards
Preceded by
James Ivory
Copley Medal
1815
Succeeded by
Henry Kater

  Results from FactBites:
 
David Brewster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1053 words)
Sir David Brewster, (December 11, 1781 – February 10, 1868) was a Scottish scientist and writer.
To Brewster is due the merit of suggesting the use of lenses for the purpose of uniting the dissimilar pictures; and accordingly the lenticular stereo-scope may fairly be said to be his invention.
Brewster's relations as editor brought him into frequent communication with the most eminent scientific men, and he was naturally among the first to recognize the benefit that would accrue from regular intercourse among workers in the field of science.
Encyclopedia4U - David Brewster - Encyclopedia Article (1036 words)
Sir David Brewster, (December 11, 1781—February 10, 1868) was a Scottish scientist.
At a later period he was one of the leading contributors to the Encyclopaedia Britannica (seventh and eighth editions), the articles on electricity, hydrodynamics, magnetism, microscope, optics, stereoscope, voltaic electricity, etc., being from his pen.
In estimating Brewster's place among scientific discoverers the chief thing to be borne in mind is that the bent of his genius was not characteristically mathematical.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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