John Tyndall (2 August 1820 - 4 December 1893)

Timeline created by jewell_apus
  • Birth and Early Life

    John Tyndall was born on 2 August, 1820 in Leighlinbridge, Ireland where he received primary education and as he grew older took several odd jobs such as draftsman and railway construction planning. Once the railway work slowed, Tyndall looked for work elsewhere, eventually securing a position as a mathematics and surveying teacher at a boarding school in Hampshire, England.
  • Unexpected Friendship

    After taking the teaching position at Queenwood Boarding School in England, John Tyndall met who we now know as the British chemist Edward Frankland who had also recently accepted a teaching position. After realizing that they both had similar interests and ambitions in the realm of science and discovery, the pair became good friends. They decided to move to Germany to pursue further scientific education at the University of Marburg, where Tyndall met a professor named Hermann Knoblauch.
  • Early Experiments and Discovery

    Tyndall arose to notoriety after co-authoring reports on magnetism and diamagnetic polarity with his new colleague Knoblauch, later helping him to achieve an appointment as Professor of Natural Philosophy, and recognition by the lead magnetic investigator at the Royal Institution in London, Michael Faraday. Upon Faraday's retirement, Tyndall was appointed his successor as lead magnetic investigator.
  • From Magnetism to Glaciers

    John Tyndall found a passion for mountaineering while exploring the Alps for work projects, and in doing so became fascinated with glaciers. Tyndall received push back on reports he had written about glacial motion and the role regelation plays in glacial shifts, due to disagreements with another scientist, James Forbes. This ultimately sparked a war of "who should get the credit" for discovery of key concepts of glacier motion that to this day has yet to be settled.
  • (Glaciers Cited Resource)

    Tyndall, John. “The Glaciers of the Alps. Being a Narrative of Excursions and Ascents, an Account of the Origin and Phenomena of Glaciers and an Exposition of the Physical Principles to Which They Are Related : Tyndall, John, 1820-1893 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming.” Internet Archive, London, New York, Bombay, Longmans, Green and Co., 1 Jan. 1896,
  • From Glaciers to The Greenhouse Effect

    From Glaciers to The Greenhouse Effect
    While researching how sunlight affects glaciers, John Tyndall came across the works of Horace Benedict de Saussure, which detailed how sunlight affects the atmosphere differently than heat generated from the earth. Tyndall was one of the first named researchers to suggest and conduct exhaustive experimentation to prove and dissect the inner workings of what we now know of as the Greenhouse Effect. (Tyndall)
  • (Geenhouse Effect Cited Resource)

    Tyndall, John. “Contributions to Molecular Physics in the Domain of Radiant Heat: A Series of Memoirs Published ... : John Tyndall : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming.” Internet Archive, Longmans, Green, and Co., 1 Jan. 1872,
  • Other Contributions to Philosophy of Science

    Throughout the 1860s, Tyndall accomplished several feats that furthered scientific exploration and philosophy. He was the first to prove that heat (or infrared energy) can be emitted by gases, he was the first to prove that heat originates from a chemical reaction, and he even proved a way to create "pure air", or air without particles in it. (Tyndall) Tyndall went on to work on several other projects from respirators to fog horns, all incorporating his understanding of atmospherics and physics.
  • (Other Contributions Cited Reference)

    Tyndall, John. “Essays on the Floating Matter of the Air, in Relation to Putrefaction and Infection : Tyndall, John, 1820-1893 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming.” Internet Archive, New York, D. Appleton, 1 Jan. 1882,