Scottish physicist James Maxwell’s contributions included the formulation of the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation and the production of the first light-fast color photograph. His Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution explored the kinetic theory of gases. He has also written poems and was an Elder of the Church of Scotland.
James Dewar was a British chemist and physicist best known for his invention of the vacuum flask. He conducted considerable research into the liquefaction of gases and atomic and molecular spectroscopy. He also wrote papers on the qualities of hydrogen and organic chemistry. He was awarded the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts and the Rumford Medal.
David Brewster was a British scientist, inventor, and author. He conducted many experiments in physical optics, especially concerned with the study of the polarization of light. Fellow scientist William Whewell dubbed him the "father of modern experimental optics." He was also a pioneer in photography and invented an improved stereoscope. He wrote numerous works of popular science as well.
Joseph Black was an 18th-century Scottish physicist and chemist. He is remembered for his discoveries of magnesium, specific heat, latent heat, and carbon dioxide. He spent several years of his career as a professor of medicine and chemistry at the University of Edinburgh. In 1783, he became one of the founders of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Sir James W. Black was a Scottish pharmacologist and physician. Black, who became interested in the study of the human heart and its reaction to adrenaline, developed a beta-blocker named propranolol to treat heart diseases. He is also credited with developing cimetidine, a drug used to cure stomach ulcers. He was honored with the 1988 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Scottish physicist, meteorologist and Nobel Laureate Charles Thomson Rees Wilson is noted for inventing the cloud chamber particle detector, also referred to as Wilson cloud chamber, used for visualizing the passage of ionizing radiation. It played a significant role in the area of experimental particle physics between the 1920s and 1950s.
Scottish physicist James David Forbes is best remembered for his research on glaciers and heat conduction and for his invention of the seismometer. A University of Edinburgh professor, he later won both the Rumford Medal and the Gold Medal of The Royal Society for his achievements.
Peter Tait was a Scottish mathematical physicist best remembered for co-authoring Treatise on Natural Philosophy, a mathematical physics textbook. Tait is also known for his work on knot theory, which helped establish topology as a mathematical discipline. He is also credited with developing the Tait–Kneser theorem. An early pioneer in thermodynamics, Tait also produced original work in experimental physics.
Sir John Leslie, 4th Baronet, was a Scottish physicist and mathematician remembered for conducting research into heat. In 1802, he became the first person to give the first modern account of capillary action. In 1810, Leslie froze water using an air-pump, becoming the first person to produce ice artificially. He is also known for developing a device called Leslie cube.
Scottish physicist Sir Andrew Noble, 1st Baronet is best remembered for his research on gunnery and gunpowder and is credited with establishing ballistics as a domain of science. His studies also introduced new types of gunpowder and methods of loading. He was eventually knighted and made a baronet, too.
Walter Scott is a Scottish businessman and investment manager best known for establishing the popular investment management company, Walter Scott and Partners. Scott was working as a nuclear physicist before switching his career to become an investment manager.
Scottish engineer William John Macquorn Rankine is best known as one of the pioneers of thermodynamics, especially the first law of thermodynamics. He is remembered for his studies on the steam-engine theory and for introducing the Rankine cycle. He also contributed to the domain of soil mechanics.
Scottish meteorologist and geophysicist Balfour Stewart is best remembered for his research on radiant energy and terrestrial magnetism. Initially a trader, he later joined the Kew Observatory as an assistant and eventually became its director. The Unseen Universe remains one of his best-known written works.
British meteorologist and physicist John Aitken is best remembered for his research on the microscopic particles now known as the Aitken nuclei and their role in the condensation of water vapor. However, health issues kept him confined to his home laboratory and prevented him from taking up significant positions.
Best remembered for discovering the magnetic property of hysteresis, Alfred Ewing also taught at the University of Tokyo and King’s College, Cambridge. He had also penned papers on subjects such as metallic structure and seismology. He also headed naval education of the British Admiralty and was knighted.