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Airy, George Biddell

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George Biddell Airy (July 27, 1801, in Alnwick, Northumberland, England; †January 2, 1892, in Greenwich, England) was an English mathematician, physicist, and astronomer.

Early Years and Education

After elementary school in Hereford, Airy entered the Royal Grammar School in Colchester. One of his relatives sponsored his school education and inspired him for physics. From 1819 he studied at the Trinity College of the University of Cambridge. He was several times “the best of the year” student and finished in 1823 his studies and obtained the first Smith Prize.

Professional Career and Honors

On October 1, 1824, Airy was elected fellow of Trinity and in December 1826 was appointed Lucasian professor of mathematics in succession to Thomas Turton. This chair he held for a little more than a year, being elected in February 1828 Plumian professor of astronomy and director of the new Cambridge Observatory. In June 1835, Airy was appointed Astronomer Royal in succession to John Pond and began...


  • George Biddell Airy
  • Airy Stress Function Method
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Correspondence to Holm Altenbach .

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Altenbach, H. (2018). Airy, George Biddell. In: Altenbach, H., Öchsner, A. (eds) Encyclopedia of Continuum Mechanics. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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