William Swan

Physicist, Deceased Person

1818 – 1894

34

Who was William Swan?

William Swan was a Scottish physicist best known for his 1856 discovery of the Swan band.

In 1856, Swan applied to join the faculty at Marischal College, but was passed over in favor of James Clerk Maxwell. Swan subsequently joined the Scottish Naval and Military Academy, where in 1857 he demonstrated that Fraunhofer's D-line in the spectrum of the Sun was caused by the presence of sodium; in this respect, he is sometimes credited as having inspired Gustav Kirchhoff's research into the same issue.

In 1859, he joined the faculty of Saint Andrews University, where he was a professor of natural philosophy until 1880.

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Born
Mar 13, 1818
Edinburgh
Nationality
  • Scotland
Profession
Employment
  • University of St Andrews
    (1859 - 1880)
Died
Mar 1, 1894

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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