Richard Glazebrook

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Sir Richard Tetley Glazebrook KCB KCVO (born September 18, 1854 in West Derby , Liverpool , † December 15, 1935 in Limpsfield , Surrey ) was a British physicist.


Glazebrook came from a well-known Liverpool family and was the son of a surgeon. His brother WR Glazebrook was later a bank director (Martin's Bank). Glazebrook studied from 1872 physics and mathematics at Trinity College of the University of Cambridge in fifth with a Bachelor's degree in 1876 Wrangler in the Tripos examinations. A year later he became a fellow of the college. His teachers of physics at Cavendish Laboratory included James Clerk Maxwell and John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh . In 1878 his first major publication took place (on crystal optics). In 1879 he received his MA degree. In 1880 he became a demonstrator in the Cavendish Laboratory and in 1881 College Lecturer in Physics and Mathematics and University Lecturer in Mathematics. As a scientist, he dealt with flight and electrical measurement technology.

In 1884 he hoped to succeed Lord Rayleigh (who supported him) on the Cavendish Chair of Physics at Cambridge, but that became JJ Thomson . He became Assistant Director of the Cavendish Laboratory in 1891 and managed the finances of Trinity College from 1895 (as Bursar ). In 1898 he became principal of University College in Liverpool (later the University of Liverpool ). In 1899 he became the first director of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington , which he led until his retirement in 1919. Even after his replacement (due to differences with the responsible ministry) he remained on its advisory board and was its executive council from 1925 to 1932. He then went back to Cambridge and edited the Dictionary of Applied Physics . From 1920 to 1923 he was Zaharoff Professor of Aeronautics and Director of the Aeronautics Department at Imperial College London .

In 1882 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society , was its Vice-President from 1919 to 1920 and 1924 to 1928, and its Foreign Secretary from 1926 to 1929. In 1909 he received the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society and in 1931 their Royal Medal . In 1933 he received the gold medal from the Royal Aeronautical Society . 1903 to 1905 he was President of the Physical Society (later the Institute of Physics , IOP). In 1918 he received the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts . In 1906 he was President of the Institution of Electrical Engineers . Since 1895 he was a member of the American Philosophical Society .

In 1910 he became Companion of the Order of the Bath , in 1917 he was ennobled and in 1920 Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB). In 1934 he became Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (KCVO).

He had been married since 1883 and had a son and three daughters.

The Glazebrook Medal of the Institute of Physics is awarded in his honor .



  • Obituary Notices Fellows Royal Society, Volume 2, 1936

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Member History: Richard T. Glazebrook. American Philosophical Society, accessed August 22, 2018 .