Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet

Sir George Gabriel Stokes, 1st Baronet, PRS (/stks/; 13 August 1819 – 1 February 1903) was an Irish English physicist and mathematician. Born in County Sligo, Ireland, Stokes spent all of his career at the University of Cambridge, where he was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics from 1849 until his death in 1903. As a physicist, Stokes made seminal contributions to fluid mechanics, including the Navier–Stokes equations and to physical optics, with notable works on polarization and fluorescence. As a mathematician, he popularised "Stokes' theorem" in vector calculus and contributed to the theory of asymptotic expansions. Stokes, along with Felix Hoppe-Seyler, first demonstrated the oxygen transport function of hemoglobin and showed color changes produced by aeration of hemoglobin solutions.


George Stokes

Born
George Gabriel Stokes

(1819-08-13)13 August 1819
Died1 February 1903(1903-02-01) (aged 83)
Cambridge, England
Alma materPembroke College, Cambridge
Known forStokes' theorem
Navier–Stokes equations
Stokes' law
Stokes's law of sound attenuation
Stokes shift
Stokes number
Stokes problem
Stokes relations
Stokes phenomenon
Stokes parameters
Stokes wave
AwardsSmith's Prize (1841)
Rumford Medal (1852)
Copley Medal (1893)
Scientific career
FieldsMathematics and physics
InstitutionsPembroke College, Cambridge
Academic advisorsWilliam Hopkins
Notable studentsLord Rayleigh
Horace Lamb
Signature

Stokes was made a baronet (hereditary knight) by the British monarch in 1889. In 1893 he received the Royal Society's Copley Medal, then the most prestigious scientific prize in the world, "for his researches and discoveries in physical science". He represented Cambridge University in the British House of Commons from 1887 to 1892, sitting as a Conservative. Stokes also served as president of the Royal Society from 1885 to 1890 and was briefly the Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge.