Edward Andrade

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Edward Andrade

Edward Neville da Costa Andrade

(1887-12-27)27 December 1887
Died6 June 1971(1971-06-06) (aged 83)
EducationSt. Dunstan's College, Catford
Alma materUniversity College London
Known forAndrade's creep law
Andrade equation
Gamma rays
AwardsHughes Medal (1958)
Wilkins Lecture (1949)[1]
Holweck Medal (1947)
Guthrie Lecture (1941)
Fellow of the Royal Society (1935)
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorProf Philipp Lenard

Edward Neville da Costa Andrade FRS[2] (27 December 1887 – 6 June 1971) was an English physicist, writer, and poet. He told The Literary Digest his name was pronounced "as written, i.e., like air raid, with and substituted for air."[3] In the scientific world Andrade is best known for work (with Ernest Rutherford) that first determined the wavelength of a type of gamma radiation, proving it was far higher in energies than X-rays known at the time. Also, a rheological model suggested by him and bearing his name is still widely employed in continuum mechanics and its geophysical applications. In popular culture he was best known for his appearances on The Brains Trust.


Edward Neville Andrade was a Sephardi Jew, his family having arrived in London from Portugal during the Napoleonic era, and was a descendant of Moses da Costa Andrade (not Moses da Costa as is sometimes stated).[citation needed] da Costa Andrade was his 2nd great-grandfather, a feather merchant in London's East End. The surname "Andrade" might nevertheless be of Portuguese origin (see notes on original pronunciation)[citation needed] born and raised in London he attended St. Dunstan's College in Catford, which was noted as the first school to have a laboratory for teaching secondary school age pupils. From there he attended University College London under Prof F. T. Trouton where he gained a first-class honours degree in physics in 1907. After graduating he stayed on to pursue research, choosing to study the flow of solid metals under stress, a subject to which he returned several times over the sixty-year course of his research career

In 1910 Edward Neville studied for a doctorate on the electrical properties of flames under Prof Lenard at the University of Heidelberg and then had a brief but productive spell of research with Ernest Rutherford at Manchester in 1914. They carried out diffraction experiments to determine the wavelengths of gamma-rays from radium, and were the first to be able to quantitate these, thereby showing that they were shorter than the wavelengths of then-known X-ray radiation that was produced by "Roentgen tubes".[4][5] He joined the Royal Artillery during the First World War, and then became Professor of Physics at the Ordnance College in Woolwich in 1920.


He was Quain Professor of Physics at University College, London from 1928 to 1950, and then Fullerian Professor of Chemistry at the Royal Institution for three years,[6] until opposition to his attempts to reform the RI led to a vote of no confidence in him by members of the RI, following which he resigned. In 1943 Andrade was invited to deliver the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures on Vibrations and Waves, then in 1950 he developed the lectures further and presented the series on Waves and Vibrations.

Andrade was also a broadcaster, coming to fame during the War on BBC radio's The Brains Trust.[7]

  • The Structure of the Atom (1923)[8]
  • Engines (1928)
  • The Mechanism of Nature (1930)
  • Simple Science with Julian Huxley.
  • More Simple Science (1935) with Julian Huxley.
  • Sir Isaac Newton (1950)[9]
  • An Approach to Modern Physics (1956)
  • A Brief History of the Royal Society (1960)
  • Physics for the Modern World (1962)
  • Rutherford and the Nature of the Atom (1964)

His papers are held by the University of Leicester[10]


  1. ^ Andrade, E. N. da C. (1950). "Wilkins Lecture - Robert Hooke". Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B - Biological Sciences. 137 (887): 153–187. Bibcode:1950RSPSB.137..153A. doi:10.1098/rspb.1950.0029. PMID 15430319. S2CID 162828757.
  2. ^ Cottrell, A. (1972). "Edward Neville da Costa Andrade. 1887-1971". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 18: 1–20. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1972.0001.
  3. ^ However, the current Andrades pronounce it ‘and-raid'. But, that's an Anglicism from the original Portuguese pronunciation. "Andrade" rhymes with "Comrade" in the original Portuguese. See Charles Earle Funk, What's the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.
  4. ^ Andrade, E.N. da C. (July 1962). "Some Personal Reminiscences." (PDF). In Ewald, P.P. (ed.). 50 Years of X-ray crystallography. Chester, England: International Union of Crystallography. ISBN 978-1-4615-9961-6.
  5. ^ Rutherford, Ernest (December 1924). "The Natural and Artificial Disintegration of the Elements". The Scientific Monthly. 19 (6): 561–578. Bibcode:1924SciMo..19..561R.
  6. ^ Fullerian Professorships
  7. ^ New Scientist, 8 June 1961, p.576.
  8. ^ Andrade, E. N. da C. (1923). The Structure of the Atom. London: G. Bell & Sons Ltd.
  9. ^ Cohen, I. Bernard (1951). "Review of Isaac Newton by E. N. Da C. Andrade". Physics Today. 4 (11): 20. Bibcode:1951PhT.....4k..20A. doi:10.1063/1.3067069.
  10. ^ "Edward Neville da Costa Andrade papers". David Wilson Library Basement Rare Books, University of Leicester.

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