Stokes, George Gabriel (1819–1903)
British mathematician and physicist, born in Ireland. He was professor of
mathematics (1849–1903) at Cambridge and served as president (1885–92)
of the Royal Society. Stokes is celebrated
for his law of viscosity (Stokes's
law), which describes the movement of a solid sphere in a fluid. It
forms the basis of the modern theory of viscous fluids. He also developed
an important theorem of vector analysis,
accurately described and named fluorescence,
and proposed the concept of an ether. Stokes'
book, Dynamic Theory of Diffraction (1849) was an important work
in the wave theory of light. He was a pioneer of geodesy.