Horace Lamb

Horace Lamb books and biography

Horace Lamb

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Sir Horace Lamb FRS (November 29, 1849 - December 4, 1934) was a British applied mathematician and author of several influential texts on classical physics, among them Hydrodynamics (1879) and Dynamical Theory of Sound (1910). Both of these books are still in print.

He studied at Stockport Grammar School and Cambridge University and in 1872 was 2nd Wrangler in the Mathematical Tripos. His professors included James Clerk Maxwell and George Gabriel Stokes. In 1883 he published a paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society applying Maxwell's equations to the problem of oscillatory current flow in spherical conductors, an early examination of what was later to be known as the skin effect.

In 1932 he, in an address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science, wittily expressed on the difficulty of explaining and studying turbulence in fluids. He reportedly said, "I am an old man now, and when I die and go to heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics, and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And about the former I am rather optimistic." [1]

He is also known for description of special waves in thin solid layers. Now these waves are called Lamb waves.

He was a professor in Victoria University of Manchester.

External link

  • O'Connor, John J.; Edmund F. Robertson "Horace Lamb". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive.


  • Paul J. Nahin, Oliver Heaviside: Sage in Solitude, (1988), IEEE Press, New York, ISBN 0879422386

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