Peter Barlow

:"For the Coronation Street character of the same name, see Peter Barlow (Coronation Street)"

Infobox Scientist
name = Peter Barlow
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caption = Peter Barlow
birth_date = October 15 1776
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death_date = March 1, 1862
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nationality = English
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field = mathematics
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Peter Barlow (October 15 1776—March 1, 1862) was an English writer on pure and applied mathematics.


Only the month and year of Barlow's birth in Norwich have been recorded for posterity. In 1806 at the age of thirty, he was appointed mathematical master in the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, a post which he held for 41 years. In 1823 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society and two years later received the Copley medal. Steam locomotion received much attention at his hands and he sat on the railway commissions of 1836, 1839, 1842 and 1845. He also conducted several investigations for the newly-formed Railway Inspectorate in the early 1840s.

He received many distinctions from British and foreign scientific societies. Barlow’s principal works are:
*"Elementary Investigation of the Theory of Numbers" (1811)
*"New Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary" (1814)
*"Essay on Magnetic Attractions" (1820).

Barlow's investigations on magnetism led to the important practical discovery of a means of rectifying or compensating compass errors in ships. Some of his magnetic research was done in collaboration with Samuel Hunter Christie. Besides compiling numerous useful tables, he contributed largely to the "Encyclopaedia Metropolitana".

Peter Barlow also made several contributions to the theory of strength of materials, including "Essay on the strength and stress of timber" (1817) and "Treatise on the strength of materials". The sixth edition (1867) of the former was prepared by Barlow's two sons after his death and contains a biography of their father.

Died at the age of 85.

His sons Peter W. Barlow and William Henry Barlow became notable civil engineers of the 19th century.

ee also

* Barlow's Wheel
* Barlow lens

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