1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Andrews, Thomas

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

ANDREWS, THOMAS (1813-1885), Irish chemist and physicist, was born on the 19th of December 1813 at Belfast, where his father was a linen merchant. After attending the Belfast Academy and also the Academical Institution, he went to Glasgow in 1828 to study chemistry under Professor Thomas Thomson, and thence migrated to Trinity College, Dublin, where he gained distinction in classics as well as in science. Finally, he graduated as M.D. at Edinburgh in 1835, and settled down to a successful medical practice in his native place, also giving instruction in chemistry at the Academical Institution. Ten years later he was appointed vice-president of the newly established Queen's College, Belfast, and professor of chemistry, and these two offices he held till 1879, when failing health compelled his retirement. He died on the 26th of November 1885. Andrews first became known as a scientific investigator by his work on the heat developed in chemical actions, for which the Royal Society awarded him a Royal medal in 1844. Another important research, undertaken with P. G. Tait, was devoted to ozone. But the work on which his reputation mainly rests, and which best displayed his skill and resourcefulness in experiment, was concerned with the liquefaction of gases. He carried out a very complete inquiry into the laws expressing the relations of pressure, temperature and volume in carbonic dioxide, in particular establishing the conceptions of critical temperature and critical pressure, and showing that the gas passes from the gaseous to the liquid state without any breach of continuity.

His scientific papers were published in a collected form in 1889, with a memoir by Professors Tait and Crum Brown.