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George Forbes

Strathclyde University Archives

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George Forbes

George Forbes (1849-1936), Professor of Natural Philosophy at Anderson's University from 1872 to 1880, photographed c 1900.

Forbes arrived at the Andersonian as a new graduate from the University of Cambridge at a difficult time, as there had been no classes held in Natural Philosophy during the academic year 1871-1872. But his enthusiasm soon took hold, and by 1874 there was a new laboratory for him to work in. During his time in Glasgow, he produced around fifty papers on theoretical and applied physics. A keen astronomer, he predicted the existence of the planet Pluto in 1880, fifty years before its discovery.

In 1880 he moved to London, where he worked on numerous projects in the fields of electrical engineering, including the electrification of the London Underground. He travelled widely, and advised on power transmission projects worldwide, including at Niagara Falls. He also collaborated with James "Paraffin" Young to measure accurately the speed of light.

Reference: P4/67

Reproduced with the permission of Strathclyde University Archives

Anderson's University, astronomers, astronomy, electrical engineering, London Underground, natural philosophy, Niagara Falls, physics, Pluto, power transmission, professors, scientists, speed of light

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