Papers of Lewis Fry Richardson, 1881-1953, mathematician, physicist and psychologist

Scope and Content

Manuscript volumes:

  • General properties of matters c1919-1937
  • Physics, Miscellaneous, Maths for Engineers c1919-1939
  • Special BSc Physics c1922-1950
  • Heat, including Kinetic Theory of Gases c1921-1938
  • Optics c1927-1939
  • Inter Statics (begun) c1906-1939
  • Inter Statics (end), Hydrostaics, Beginning of Motion c1906-1939
  • Inter Kinematics & Kinetics c1913-1945
  • BSc Electricity & Magnetism, Vol 1 c1905-1940
  • BSc Electricity & Magnetism, Vol 2 c1920-1940
  • BSc Electricity & Magnetism, Vol 3 c1921-1947
  • Physics beyond General BSc (1) c1915-1937
  • Physics beyond General BSc (2) c1899-1938
  • Physics Instruments & Techniques Vol. I c1903-1953
  • Physics Instruments &Techniques Vol. II c1922-1951
  • Physics Instruments & Techniques Vol. III c1918-1937
  • Practical Physics 1 c1921-1940
  • Practical Physics 2 c1922-1940
  • Practical Physics 3 c1922-1942
  • Experimental Physics - Laboratory Record undated
  • Laboratory Notebook - Experimental Data c1925-1940
  • Thermodynamics - Heat Engines c1925-1930
  • Inter Pure Maths 1 c1914-1943
  • Inter Pure Maths 2, Finite Diffs. c1914-1940
  • 3 Coordinates c1923-1940
  • Plane Coordinate Geometry c1919-1937
  • Infinitesimal Geometry c1923-1940
  • Matrices c1933-1952
  • Ordinary Differential Equations c1923-1937
  • Infinite Series c1915-1983
  • Summation of Series, Inequalities, Bounds & Limits c1927-1950
  • 'III B' First Year Final Maths c1922-1939
  • Integration, Harder Complex Numbers, General Revision c1921-1939
  • Statistics c1930-1953

Administrative / Biographical History

Lewis Fry Richardson was born in Newcastle in  1887  into a prosperous merchant quaker family. He was educated at Bootham School, York, and fell under the influences of science, and in particular, meteorology, through the lessons of master  J Edmund Clark. In  1898  he attended Durham College of Science to study mathematics, physics, chemistry, zoology and botany, before graduating from King's College, Cambridge with a first class degree in the Natural Science Tripos in  1903 .

Richardson's early working life reflected his eclectic interests: he worked at the National Physical Laboratory from  1903-1904  and then again from  1907-1909 ; at the National Peat Industries from  1906-1907  as a chemist and for the Meteorological Office at Benson, Oxfordshire, as superintendent of the Eskdalemuir Observatory from  1913-1916 . From  1916-1919  he served in the Friends Ambulance Unit before rejoining the Meteorological Office. From  1920-1940  he was the Principal of Paisley College of Technology. In 1926 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. In  1940  he retired from Paisley to continue his own research at Kilmun, Argyll, where he died in September  1953 .

Lewis Fry Richardson made three significant contributions to physics: he developed the application of the method of finite differences to the solution of physical problems, especially in meteorology; he helped to advance knowledge of atmospheric diffusion, particularly eddy-diffusion and he developed the application of mathematics to the study of the relations between nations.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received.

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposited with the Library of Paisley College of Technology : 1965

Other Finding Aids

Data about collection held on Paisley University, Robertson Trust Library, Special Collections catalogue

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 23 July 2004.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Chief Librarian.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Custodial History

Archive was formally held at Paisley College of Technology Library.


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