Hellenica World

William Barlow

William Barlow (August 8, 1845 – February 28, 1934) was an English amateur geologist specializing in crystallography.[1][2]

He was born in Islington, in London, England. His father became wealthy as a speculative builder as well as a building surveyor, allowing William to have a private education. After his father died in 1875, William and his brother inherited this fortune, allowing him to pursue his interest in crystallography without a need to labor for a living.

William examined the forms of crystalline structures, and deduced that there were only 230 forms of symmetrical crystal arrangements, known as space groups. Unfortunately his results were published in 1894,[3] only after they had been independently announced by Yevgraf Fyodorov and Arthur Schönflies, although his approach did display some novelty. His structural models of simple compounds such as NaCl and CsCl were later confirmed using X-ray crystallography.

He served as the president of the English Mineralogical Society from 1915 until 1918.[4]

He died in Great Stanmore, Middlesex, England.

Awards and honors

* Fellow of the Royal Society, 1908.
* The wrinkle ridge Dorsa Barlow on the Moon was named after him.


1. ^ W. J. Pope (1935) Obituary Notices: "William Barlow. 1845-1934," Journal of the Chemical Society (London), pages 1328-1330. Available on-line at: http://www.rsc.org/delivery/_ArticleLinking/DisplayArticleForFree.cfm?doi=JR9350001327&JournalCode=JR . Scroll down to page 2. Reprinted in: Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society [later: Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society], vol. 1, no. 4, pages 367-370 (1 December 1935).
2. ^ Peter Tandy (2004) "William Barlow (1845-1934): Speculative builder, man of leisure and inspired crystallographer," Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, vol. 115, no. 1, pages 77-84.
3. ^ W. Barlow (1894) "Über die Geometrischen Eigenschaften homogener starrer Strukturen und ihre Anwendung auf Krystalle" [On the geometrical properties of homogeneous rigid structures and their application to crystals], Zeitschrift für Krystallographie und Minerologie, vol. 23, pages 1-63.
4. ^ http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/op/edi%3C/info/collections/archives/page5148.html

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