Richard Glazebrook

Richard Tetley Glazebrook ( born September 18, 1854 in West Derby, Liverpool, † December 15, 1935 in Limpsfield, Surrey ) was a British physicist.


Glazebrook came from a well-known Liverpool family and was the son of a surgeon. His brother WR Glazebrook later became a bank director ( Martin's Bank). Glazebrook studied physics and mathematics in 1872 at Trinity College, Cambridge University with a bachelor 's degree in 1876 as a fifth Wrangler in the Tripos examinations. A year later he became a Fellow of the College. Among his teachers in physics at the Cavendish Laboratory were James Clerk Maxwell and Lord Rayleigh. 1878 was his first major publication ( on crystal optics ). In 1879 he received his M. A. Financial statements. In 1880 he was demonstrator in the Cavendish Laboratory in 1881 college lecturer in physics and mathematics, as well as University Lecturer in Mathematics. As a scientist, he was concerned with air and electrical metrology. He made his hopes in 1884 successor of Lord Rayleigh ( who supported him ) to be the Cavendish chair of physics at Cambridge, but this was JJ Thomson. He was assistant director of the Cavendish Laboratory in 1891, and managed from 1895 (as Bursar ) the finances of Trinity College. In 1898 he was principal of University College, Liverpool (later the University of Liverpool). In 1899 he became the first director of the National Physical Laboratory ( NPL) in Teddington, which he led until his retirement in 1919. Even after his replacement ( due to differences with the relevant ministry ), he remained in the Advisory Board and was its Executive Council from 1925 to 1932 before. Then he went back to Cambridge and gave the Dictionary of Applied Physics out. 1920 to 1923 he was Zaharoff Professor of Aeronautics and Director of the Department Aeronautics at Imperial College London.

In 1882 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, was from 1919 to 1920 and from 1924 to 1928 as Vice President from 1926 to 1929 and its foreign secretary. In 1909 he was awarded the Hughes Medal of the Royal Society and the Royal Medal in 1931. In 1933 he received the Gold Medal of the Royal Aeronautical Society. 1903 to 1905 he was President of the Physical Society (later the Institute of Physics, IOP). In 1918 he received the Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts. In 1906 he was president of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

In 1910 he became Companion of the Order of the Bath Knight Commander and 1920 ( KCB ) and 1917 he was knighted. In 1934 he became Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order ( KCVO ).

He was married in 1883 and had one son and three daughters.

In his honor, is awarded the Glazebrook Medal of the Institute of Physics.


  • Publisher A dictionary of applied physics, 5 volumes, London, Macmillan 1922-1923: Volume 1 Mechanics, Engineering, Heat, archives,
  • Volume 2 Electricity archives
  • Volume 3 Meteorology, Metrology and measuring apparatus,
  • Volume 4 Light, sound, radiology,
  • Volume 5 aeronautics, metallurgy, general index