John Strutt 3rd Baron Rayleigh

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The Right Honourable John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (12 November 184230 June 1919) was a British physicist who (with William Ramsay) discovered the element argon, an achievement that earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904. He also discovered the phenomenon now called Rayleigh scattering and predicted the existence of the surface waves now known as Rayleigh waves.

Strutt was born in Langford Grove, Essex on November 12, 1842. In his early years he suffered frailty and poor health.

He began studying mathematics at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1861 and graduated in 1865. He was subsequently elected to a Fellowship of Trinity College. He held the post until his marriage to Evelyn Balfour in 1871.

In 1873 his father John James Strutt died, and the younger Strutt inherited the Barony of Rayleigh.

He was the second Cavendish Professor of Physics at Cambridge University, following James Clerk Maxwell in this position from 1879 to 1884.

Rayleigh died on June 30, 1919 in Witham, Essex.

Craters on Mars and the Moon are named in his honor as well as a type of surface wave known as a Rayleigh wave.

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