Arthur Mason Worthington

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Arthur Mason Worthington CB, FRS (11 June 1852 in Manchester – 5 December 1916 in Oxford) was an English physicist and educator. He is best known for his work on fluid mechanics, especially the physics of splashes; for observing those, he pioneered techniques of high speed photography. He also proposed the slug as a unit of inertial mass, and the pound-foot as a dedicated unit of torque.


He was Science Master at Clifton College, Bristol (1877, 1880-1884) and then Headmaster at the Royal Naval Engineering College, Devonport.

In June 1893 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[1] His candidacy citation read:

Head Master and Professor of Physics, Royal Naval Engineering College, Devonport. Distinguished as a physicist, especially for his researches on surface tension and on the stretching of liquids. Author of the following papers: - 'On the Forms assumed by Drops of Liquid falling Vertically on a Horizontal Plate' (Proc Roy Soc, 1876-1877); 'On the Spontaneous Segmentation of a Liquid Annulus' (ibid, 1879); 'On Pendent Drops' (ibid, 1881); 'On Impact with a Liquid Surface' (ibid, 1882); 'On the Horizontal Motion of Floating Bodies under the Action of Capillary Forces' (Phil Mag, 1883); On the Surface Forces in Fluids' (ibid, 1884); 'On the Error involved in Prof Quincke's Method of Calculating Surface Tensions from the Dimensions of Flat Drops and Bubbles' (ibid, 1885); 'A Capillary Multiplier' (ibid); 'On Tensional Stress and Strain within a Liquid' (Brit Assoc, Sect A, 1888); 'On the Discharge of Electrification by Flames' (Brit Assoc, Rept Electrolysis Comm, 1889); 'on the Mechanical Stretching of Liquids, an Experimental Determination of the Volume-Extensibility of Ethyl Alcohol' (read before the Roy Soc, Feb 4, 1892). Also of the following: - 'Physical Laboratory Practice,' and 'The Dynamics of Rotation.

Worthington was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the 1902 Coronation Honours list published on 26 June 1902,[2][3] and received the insignia from King Edward VII in an investiture on board the royal yacht Victoria and Albert outside Cowes on 15 August 1902,[4] the day before the fleet review held there to mark the coronation.

Personal life[edit]

He married Helen Solly, the younger daughter of Thomas Solly. Arthur Worthington's recreations were sketching and tennis.[5][6]


  • A. M. Worthington (1908). A Study of Splashes. Longmans, Green, and Co.[7]


  1. ^ "Library and Archive Catalogue". Royal Society. Retrieved 1 November 2010.
  2. ^ "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
  3. ^ "No. 27448". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 June 1902. p. 4190.
  4. ^ "Court Circular". The Times (36848). London. 16 August 1902. p. 8.
  5. ^ "WORTHINGTON, Arthur Mason". Who's Who. Vol. 57. 1905. pp. 1775–1776.
  6. ^  "Solly, Thomas". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  7. ^ Boys, C. V. (29 October 1908). "Drops and Splashes". Nature. 78 (2035): 666–667. Bibcode:1908Natur..78..666B. doi:10.1038/078666a0; review of A Study of Splashes

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