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Sydney Chapman

Born: 29-Jan-1888
Birthplace: Eccles, Lancashire, England
Died: 16-Jun-1970
Location of death: Boulder, CO
Cause of death: Natural Causes

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Mathematician, Physicist, Astronomer

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Geomagnetism

Mathematician and geophysicist Sydney Chapman's main field of study was the Earth's magnetic field, and he coined the term 'geomagnetism'. He both predicted and confirmed the phenomenon of thermal diffusion, and conducted important research into auroras, atmospheric tides, the sun's corona, ionospheric problems, the kinetic theory of gases, the physics of the ozone layer, and the relationship between magnetic storms and solar flares. Early in his career he worked under astronomer Frank W. Dyson at the Greenwich Observatory, but he spent the bulk of his professional life at University College London and the University of Alaska.

Father: Joseph Chapman (textile executive)
Mother: Sarah Gray Chapman
Wife: Katharine Nora Steinthal Chapman (m. 1922, d. 1967, one daughter, three sons)
Son: Cecil Chapman
Daughter: Mary Chapman
Son: Richard Chapman
Son: Robert Chapman

    High School: Green Lane Higher Grade School, Patricroft, England (1902)
    University: University of Salford (attended, 1902-04)
    University: BS Engineering, University of Manchester (1907)
    University: MS Physics, University of Manchester (1908)
    University: BA Mathematics, Cambridge University (1911)
    University: DSc Physics, University of Manchester (1912)
    University: MS Mathematics, Cambridge University (1914)
    Scholar: Chief Ass't Astronomer, Royal Observatory at Greenwich (1910-14, 1916-18)
    Teacher: Mathematics, Cambridge University (1914-16)
    Professor: Mathematics, University of Manchester (1919-24)
    Professor: Mathematics, University College London (1924-46)
    Professor: Natural Philosophy, Oxford University (1946-53)
    Professor: Geophysics, University of Alaska Fairbanks (1951-70)
    Administrator: Scientific Director, Geophysical Institute, University of Alaska Fairbanks (1951-70)
    Administrator: High Altitude Observatory, Boulder, CO (1953-70)

    Adams Prize 1928
    Royal Medal 1934
    LMS De Morgan Medal 1944
    Bruce-Preller Prize 1945
    Royal Astronomical Society Gold Medal 1949
    Copley Medal 1964
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Member
    Royal Astronomical Society
    Royal Society 1919
    Royal Society of Edinburgh 1953
    London Mathematical Society President (1929-31)
    Lunar Crater Chapman (50.4 N, 100.7 W, 71 km. diameter)
    English Ancestry
    Risk Factors: Depression

Author of books:
Mathematical Theory of Non-Uniform Gases (1939, with Thomas George Cowling)
Geomagnetism (1940, with Julius Bartels)
The Earth's Magnetism (1951)
IGY: Year of Discovery, The Story of the International Geophysical Year (1959)
Solar Plasma, Geomagnetism, and Aurora (1964)
Atmospheric Tides: Thermal and Gravitational (1970, with Richard S. Lindzen)


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