Person: Mccrea, William Hunter
William Hunter McCrea was an English astronomer and mathematician whose research on the composition of the Sun and on star formation led to the development of the big bang theory.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Robert McCrea was a schoolmaster who moved to England when Bill was two years old.
- In 1928 McCrea followed up a suggestion by Cecilia Payne and by the German astronomer Albrecht Unsöld that in fact hydrogen was dominant.
- However, Whittaker was not the person in the department to interact most closely with McCrea, rather it was George McVittie who was undertaking research under Whittaker's supervision.
- McCrea was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1931.
- In 1935 McCrea published Relativity Physics, a little book of less than 100 pages.
- In 1936 McCrea was named Professor of Pure Mathematics at Queen's University Belfast.
- McCrea's later books are Physics of Sun and Stars (1950), Cosmology (1969), The Royal Greenwich Observatory (1975), and History of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1920 to 1980 (1987).
- We have already mentioned McCrea's work on the mechanical equilibrium of the solar chromosphere and in more generally on solar atmospheres.
- McCrea convincingly showed there is no paradox, and the space-travelling twin would indeed age less (something now verified by experiments of sending accurate clocks into space and back).
- McCrea received many honours and we can list only a few in what follows.
Born 24 December 1904, Dublin, Ireland. Died 25 April 1999, Lewes, Sussex, England.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Astronomy, Origin Ireland
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive