Reference Work Entry

Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

pp 721-723


FitzGerald, George Francis

BornDublin, Ireland, 3 August 1851

DiedDublin, Ireland, 22 February 1901

FitzGerald, George Francis. Courtesy of History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries

George FitzGerald was an eminent physicist noted for developing James Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory of radiation and for his explanation of the null result of the Michelson-Morley experiment.

George was the second of three sons of William FitzGerald, a clergyman in the (Anglican) Church of Ireland and professor of moral philosophy and ecclesiastical history at Trinity College, Dublin, and of Anne Francis, sister of the physicist George Stoney. William later became Bishop of Cork and then of Killaloe, County Clare. When George was eight and living in Cork, his mother died. He and his siblings were educated by Charles Harper and the family governess, Mary Anne Boole, sister of mathematic George Boole, in a home where metaphysics, science, and mathematics were highly regarded.

FitzGerald graduated from Trinity Colle ...

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