Robert Boyle was an Anglo-Irish chemist, natural philosopher, inventor, and physicist. Regarded as the first modern chemist, Boyle is often counted among the founders of modern chemistry. One of the pioneers of the scientific method, Robert Boyle is also remembered for his books, including The Sceptical Chymist, which is viewed as a keystone book in chemistry.
Born into a poor Protestant family, Irish physicist John Tyndall was a self-made man who funded his own doctoral education. His contributions include his research on the greenhouse effect and the discovery of the Tyndall effect. Not known to many, he was also an avid mountaineer and glaciologist.
Sir George Stokes, 1st Baronet was an Anglo-Irish physicist and mathematician. He studied at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and spent his entire career at the University of Cambridge as the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics. As a physicist, he made key contributions to fluid mechanics and physical optics. He received the Royal Society's Copley Medal in 1893.
Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ernest Walton was the first person to split the atom. He boasted of a PhD from Cambridge and, with Sir John Douglas Cockcroft, developed the world’s first nuclear particle accelerator, or the Cockcroft-Walton generator, with which they conducted the first artificial nuclear reaction without radioactive substances.
Irish physicist George Johnstone Stoney made important contributions in the areas of cosmic physics and the theory of gases. Most significant scientific work of Stoney was the conception and calculation of the magnitude of the atom or particle of electricity. He is noted for introducing the term electron to elucidate the fundamental unit of electrical charge.
Copley Medal-winning Irish physicist Joseph Larmor is best remembered for his physics book Aether and Matter. Known for his contribution to the fields of thermodynamics and the magnetic field, he now has a crater on the Moon and a scientific phenomenon called Larmor precession named after him.
Irish physicist and geologist John Joly created headlines when he estimated the age of the Earth at a 100 million years back in 1898. The University of Dublin professor of geology also made developments in the extraction of radium and its application in the treatment of cancer.
Anglo-Irish astronomer Edward Sabine initially served the British Army and eventually retired as a major-general. The Copley Medal-winning scientist is remembered for his work on determining the shape and magnetic field of the Earth. He also studied birds in Greenland and was knighted for his achievements.
Irish geophysicist Robert Mallet is remembered for his pathbreaking studies on earthquakes and is regarded as the father of seismology. Th Trinity alumnus initially worked at his father’s foundry and expanded it. His research on the 1857 Naples earthquake was crucial to developments in seismology, a term he is said to have coined.
Irish physicist John Sealy Townsend is best remembered for his pathbreaking research on the electrical conduction of gases and for his discovery of Townsend discharge. He was also the first to directly measure the electrical charge. He received the Hughes Medal and was also knighted for his contribution to science.
Irish physicist and Trinity College professor George Francis FitzGerald made pioneering contributions to wireless telegraphy with his discovery of a way of producing radio waves. His Lorentz–FitzGerald contraction was later used by Albert Einstein in his special theory of relativity. He also made unsuccessful attempts to create a flying machine.