Jeans, James Hopwood
BornOrmskirk, Lancashire, England, 22 September 1877
DiedDorking, Surrey, England, 16 September 1946
British mathematician and astronomer James Jeans formulated two astrophysical concepts: the Jeans mass or Jeans length for deciding whether a given mass of gas will collapse under its own gravitational force and the Rayleigh-Jeans approximation to the long-wavelength part of blackbody radiation. For much of his life he supported the Chamberlin-Moulton or tidal encounter hypothesis for the formation of the Solar System and favored a very long timescale, perhaps 1012 years, for the Universe as a whole.
Jeans, whose mother was a Hopwood, was the son of William Tulloch Jeans, a parliamentary journalist. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1896. He tied for the second best score (second wrangler) in part I of the mathematics triposin 1898. Jeans took a first-class honors degree in Part II in 1900. He was awarded an Isaac Newton Studentship and the Smith’s Prize in 1900, the...
- Henry, Holly (2003). Virginia Wolf and the Discourse of Science: The Aesthetics of Astronomy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (Discussion of Jeans’s popularization of astronomy.)Google Scholar
- — (1929). The Universe Around Us. Cambridge: University Press.Google Scholar
- — (1930). The Mysterious Universe. Cambridge: University Press.Google Scholar
- — (1933). The New Background of Science. Cambridge: University Press.Google Scholar
- — (1934). Through Space and Time. Cambridge: University Press.Google Scholar
- — (1938). Science and Music. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- — (1940). Introduction to the Kinetic Theory of Gasses. Cambridge: University Press.Google Scholar
- — (1943). Physics and Philosophy. Cambridge: University Press.Google Scholar
- Stratton, F. J. M. (1947). “James Hopwood Jeans.” Observatory 66: 392–394.Google Scholar