Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Hockey, Virginia Trimble, Thomas R. Williams, Katherine Bracher, Richard A. Jarrell, Jordan D. MarchéII, JoAnn Palmeri, Daniel W. E. Green

Appleton, Edward Victor

  • Peter S. Excell
Reference work entry

BornBradford, England, 6 September 1892

DiedEdinburgh, Scotland, 21 April 1965

British radio engineer and space physicist Edward Appleton received the 1947 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the layer in the Earth’s ionosphere that reflects short wavelength radio. He was the eldest of three children of warehouseman and church-organist Peter Appleton and his wife Mary; he married Jessie Longson in 1916 (and had two daughters) and, after her death, Helen Lennie in 1965. Appleton developed an interest in physics at the Hanson School in Bradford, and went to Cambridge University to read natural sciences at Saint Johns College in 1911, receiving a first-class degree in 1914. His studies included geology and mineralogy, especially the optical properties of crystals, as well as physics. After graduation, Appleton became the first research student of William Bragg, intending to work on X-ray crystallography. Both, however, volunteered for service at the outbreak of World War I.


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Selected References

  1. Appleton, E. V. (1927). “The Existence of More Than One Ionised Layer in the Upper Atmosphere.” Nature 120: 330.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. — (1932). “Wireless Studies of the Ionosphere.” Proceedings of the Institute of Electric Engineers 71: 642–650.Google Scholar
  3. Appleton, E. V. and M. A. F. Barnett (1925). “On Some Direct Evidence for Downward Atmospheric Reflection of Electric Rays.” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series A 109: 621–641.Google Scholar
  4. Clark, Ronald (1971). Sir Edward Appleton. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  5. Friedman, Herbert (1986). Sun and Earth. New York: Scientific American Library.Google Scholar
  6. Lang, Kenneth R. (1995). Sun, Earth, and Sky. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BradfordBradfordUK