Reference numberMS/603
Previous numbersMS 603, MS 604, MS 605, MS 606, MS 607, MS 608, MS 609
TitleLetters to Sir Joseph Larmor, theoretical physicist and Physical Secretary of the Royal Society
CreatorLarmor; Sir Joseph (1857-1942); British theoretical physicist
DescriptionScientific correspondence, including work on electromagnetic theory, optics, analytical mechanics, and geodynamics.

Names of correspondents:
Anderson, A
Anderson, H
Armstrong, H
Arrhenius, H
Aston, F
Ayrton, H
Ayrton, W
Balfour, A
Ball, R
Barcroft, J
Barkla, C
Basset, A
Bateman, H
Beattie, J
Becquerel, A
Berkley, R
Bjerkins, V
Boltzman, L
Bottomley, J
Boughey, A
Bousfield, W
Boys, C
Bragg, W
Brillouin, M
Brown, E
Brown, H
Brown, J
Bruce-Joy, A
Bryan, G
Buckland, W
Bumstead, H
Burch, G
Butler, H
Callendar, H
Campbell, J
Carey, F
Chree, C
Christie, W
Chrystal, G
Church, A
Crookes, W
Culverwell, E
Darwin, F
Darwin, G
Dewar, J
Dixon, H
Donnan, F
Dreyer, J
Durrant, R
Dyson, F
Edgeworth, F
Eddington, A
Elliot, W
Elliott, E
Everett, J
Ewing, J
Fenton, H
Fisher, O
Fitzgerald, G
Fitzgerald, H
Fitzgerald, M
Forsyth, A
Frankland, W
Galton, F
Gamgee, A
Garnett, J
Geikie, A
Gibson, G
Gifford, W
Gill, D
Glazebrook, R
Gray, A
Haldane, L
Hale, G
Hardy, G
Hardy, W
Heath, T
Heaviside, O
Henrici, C
Herschel, J
Higgs, H
Hill, M
Hills, E
Hippisley, R
Holderness, J
Hopkins, F
Hugel, A
Huggins, W
Hunter, J
Hull, G
Huggins, M
Huggins, W
Jack, W
James, M
Johnston, E
Johnston, W
Joly, J
Jorgensen, J
Julius, W
Kaufmann, W
Kempe, A
Kenyon, F
Khan, M
King, L
Klein, F
Knobel, E
Knott, C
Kohlrausch, F
Konn, H
Laby, T
Lamb, H
Lang, V
Langley, E
Lankester, E
Larmor, A
Lees, C
Lenox-Conyingham, G
Levi-Civita, T
Lindemann, F
Lister, J
Livens, G
Lockyer, W
Lodge, O
Lorentz, H
Lowther, J
Lyman, T
Macaulay, W
Macdonald, H
MacHenry, J
McLennan, J
McLeod, H
Mallock, H
Martin, R
Meldola, R
Merz, J
Michelson, A
Middleton, H
Miller, D
Milne, E
Milne, J
Minchin, G
Mitchell, P
More, L
Morley, E
Murray, J
Newhall, H
Nichols, E
Nicholson, J
Niven, J
Niven, W
Noble, M
Noble, A
Nutting, P
Ogilvie, F
Onnes, H
Pearson, K
Peirce, B
Percy, H
Perry, J
Phillips, C
Planck, M
Poincare, H
Pope, W
Poynting, J
Preston, T
Prothero, G
Proudman, J
Ramsay, M
Ramsay, W
Rawlinson, J
Richards, T
Richardson, L
Ridgeway, W
Righi, A
Roscoe, H
Routh, E
Rubens, H
Rucker, A
Russell, B
Rutherford, E
Sagnay, G
Samusi, H
Saunders, T
Schott, G
Scott, R
Scott, R. H.
See, T
Sevier, A
Sewell, C
Shaw, W
Sinclair, G
Smith, H
Smithells, A
Soddy, F
Sommerfield, A
Sorley, W
Stanton, T
Steele, B
Stirling, J
Stokes, G
Stoney, G
Stratton, F
Swan, J
Synge, E
Taylor, C
Thiselton-Dyer, W
Thompson, D'Arcy W
Thompson, S
Thomson, J
Thomson, M
Thomson, J J
Thomson, W
Thornton, W
Thorpe, T
Thrift, W
Townsend, R
Travers, M
Trotter, A
Trouton, Fturner, H
Turner, H
Tutton, A
Volterra, V
Walker, G
Walker, J
Ward, J
Watson, H
Webster, A
Whetham, W
Whittaker, E
Wills, A
Wilson, H
Wood, R
Woodward, R
Young, A
Young, S
Young, W
Zeeman, P
Extent6 volumes, 7 boxes (small) [7 volumes of correspondence]
ArrangementIn bound volumes, alphabetically by name of correspondent
Finding aidsAlphabetical list of correspondents. Copy behind Library Reading Room desk. Indexed in card catalogue
NotesComments from Barbara Becker 2011;
In volume MS/605(i), letters from Margaret Huggins to Larmor, there is a mistake in the numbering. The front of letters LM 801 and LM 802 have been transposed, the front page of LM 801 should be the first page of LM 802, as it is a part of a letter with a list of points which continue in the second and subsequent pages of LM 802. The first page of the letter listed as LM 802 is clearly a letter on its own written several days later.
In volume MS/605 (2) letter 891, from Huggins to Joseph Larmor (Lm.891) which Huggins has dated 6 Jany. 1905, Huggins had made a common error, one we all make at the beginning of a new year: he has written the year as 1905 instead of 1906. The reason she believes the letter was actually written on 6 January 1906 is Huggins's brief mention in the last paragraph of Charles Jasper Joly who was Astronomer Royal for Ireland from 1897 until his death on 4 January 1906. He died quite young (age 41) of a fever, so it is unlikely that anyone would have been anticipating his death a full year before it occurred. In fact, Joly's death was quite a sudden blow and there was concern about finding a replacement for him.
Also, extra evidence comes in the first paragraph, where Huggins says "now that I am free from the RS" - Huggins's Presidential term ended on 30 November 1905.
Access statusOpen
Administrative historyBorn 11 July 1857 in Magheragall, County Antrim, Ireland, he attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, then Queen's University Belfast where he received his BA and MA, and entered St John's College Cambridge University in 1877. Senior Wrangler in the mathematical tripos in 1880, was awarded a Smith's Prize and elected Fellow of St. John's. 1880-1885 was Professor of Natural History at Queen's College Galway, then returned as a lecturer to St John's. Became Lucasian Professor in 1903 after Stokes, retiring in 1932. He was concerned with geometrical and physical aspects of a problem rather than the analytical, described in his 'Address on the Geometrical Method' of 1896. The researches for which he is chiefly remembered took place mainly between 1892-1901, a transition period in physics by the end of which X-rays, electrons and radio-activity had again set experimental physics in feverish progress, followed by revolutionary changes in the foundations of physical theory. Of those who brought classical physics to the point where new methods became inevitable, Lorentz and Larmor were the most prominent, preparing the old physics for the advent of the new. Larmor's major contribution to this was his book 'Aether and Matter', published in 1900 which began as a memoir published initially in the 'Philosophical Transactions' between 1894-1897 and which to the student of the period was the gateway to new thought. He was concerned with numerous other subjects, such as the bending of radio waves round the earth (1924), with E H Hills producing a new kind of analysis of the irregular motion of the earth's axis of rotation as given by the determinations of latitude variation at the chain of International Latitude Observatories (1906 and 1915), protection from lightning (19140, and geomagnetism on which he was a leading authority. His intense feelings over the Irish Question led him to enter Parliament, representing Cambridge University as a unionist from 1911 to 1922. His most important work outside the university was in the responsible and influential post of secretary of the Royal Society 1901-1912.
Related materialSt John's College Library, Cambridge University holds correspondence and papers; Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, Cambridge University holds correspondence and papers Ref. Add. 7656, correspondence with Lord Kelvin 1893-1908 Ref. Add. 7342, 7656, correspondence with Lord Rutherford 1903-1919 Ref. Add. 7342, 7656; Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories holds 17 letters to Lord Rayleigh, 1896-1917;Imperial College Library, London University holds letters to Silvanus Thompson 1902-1916 Ref. B/Thompson; Manuscripts Room University College London (UCL) London University holds correspondence with Sir Oliver Lodge 1885-1936 Ref. MS ADD 89, letters to Karl Pearson 1888-1911 Ref. Pearson; Royal Geographical Society holds 11 letters to Sir David Gill 1908-1913.
Fellows associated with this archive
NA7894Larmor; Sir; Joseph (1857 - 1942); physicist1857 - 1942
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