John Tyndall, Irish physicist

John Tyndall, Irish physicist

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Credit: CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: John Tyndall (1820-1893), Irish physicist. Tyndall was a surveyor and engineer before studying physics and becoming a professor at the Royal Institution, London, where he taught from 1854 to 1887. A prolific writer on a number of subjects, he studied light beams passing through various substances. In 1869 he discovered the Tyndall Effect in which light scattering by colloidal particles in a solution makes the light beam visible from the side. He realised that the sky is blue because dust particles in the air scatter blue wavelengths more than red wavelengths. He was awarded the Royal Society's Royal Medal (1853) and Rumford Medal (1864).

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