1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Barlow, Peter

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BARLOW, PETER (1776-1862), English writer on pure and applied mathematics, was born at Norwich in 1776 and died on the 1st of March 1862. In 1806 he was appointed mathematical master in the Woolwich Academy, and filled that post for forty-one years. In 1823 he was made a fellow of the Royal Society, and two years later received the Copley medal. Steam locomotion received much attention at his hands, and he sat on the railway commissions of 1836, 1839, 1842, 1845. He received many distinctions from British and foreign scientific societies. Barlow's principal works are—Elementary Investigation of the Theory of Numbers (1811); New Mathematical and Philosophical Dictionary (1814); Essay on Magnetic Attractions (1820). The investigations on magnetism led to the important practical discovery of a means of rectifying or compensating compass errors in ships. Besides compiling numerous useful tables, he contributed largely to the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana.