Alfred Gordon Gaydon biography

Alfred Gordon Gaydon

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1911 – 2004


Who was Alfred Gordon Gaydon?

Alfred Gordon Gaydon was a leading spectroscopist and combustion scientist.

He was brought up at Surbiton, Surrey, where he attended Kingston Grammar School. There he became a keen oarsman, later rowing for Imperial College, London, and Kingston Rowing Club. In 1929 he graduated in Physics from the Royal College of Science and, after a period of post graduate study there accepted a post at the Shirley Institute of the Cotton Research Association near Manchester.

He was responsible for developing the shock tube as a means to study flames and combustion, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1953 and in 1960 awarded their Rumford Medal.

He is perhaps best known, however, for his ability to see Ultraviolet light. In 1936, while he was working at the Shirley Institute, a laboratory explosion damaged his eye, which was later removed. His remaining eye, which had the lens removed was blind. But slowly, he began to regain sight and discovered that he could now see ultraviolet, although he perceived the color as blue.

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Sep 26, 1911
Apr 16, 2004

on July 23, 2013


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