Frederick Guthrie

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Frederick Guthrie
Frederick Guthrie.png
Born 15 October 1833
Bayswater, London
Died 21 October 1886(1886-10-21) (aged 53)
Academic advisors Augustus De Morgan

Frederick Guthrie (15 October 1833 – 21 October 1886) was a British scientific writer and professor. He is the younger brother of mathematician Francis Guthrie. With William Fletcher Barrett he helped found the Physical Society of London (now the Institute of Physics) in 1874 and was president of the society from 1884 till 1886.[1][2] He believed that science should be based on experimentation rather than discussion.

Academic career[edit]

His academic career started at University College, London, where he studied for three years, he was devoted to the studying chemistry, under Thomas Graham and Alexander William Williamson, and also studied mathematics under Augustus De Morgan. In 1852, he submitted his brother's observations to De Morgan.[3]

In 1854 Guthrie went to Heidelberg studying under Robert Bunsen and then in 1855 obtained a Ph.D. at the University of Marburg under Adolph Wilhelm Hermann Kolbe.[4]

In 1856 he joined Edward Frankland, Professor of Chemistry in Owens College, Manchester. In 1859 he went to Edinburgh University.

Guthrie was the first to report on the effects of mustard gas. In 1860, he described combining ethylene with sulfur dichloride and observations of some of the physiological effects it had on him.[5]

He became professor in chemistry and physics, at the Royal College of Mauritius between 1861 and 1867.[6]

He was also a professor at the Royal School of Mines, where he mentored the future experimental physicist C. V. Boys. He also mentored John Ambrose Fleming and was instrumental in turning his interest from chemistry to electricity.

Invented the thermionic diode 1873 that was later given credit to edison's assistant WJ Hammer. The glory being given to Edison time and again history buried for ego of the elites resulting in misconceptions about electric charge carriers replaced what the original inventor actually discovered with "The edison effect" the term stolen from Hammer who called the effect his phantom. The academic and company scientist became more and more corrupt stealing and giving complicated explanations in order to manage and dominate science to the point where wealthy admission to college uses internet to harvest stolen ideas.

He wrote the Elements of Heat in 1868 and Magnetism and Electricity in 1873 (published in 1876).[7]

Guthrie was also a linguist, playwright, and poet. Under the name Frederick Cerny, he wrote the poems The Jew (1863) and Logrono (1877). His son was Frederick Bickell Guthrie, an agricultural chemist.


  1. ^ Lewis, John J. (2003). The Physical Society and Institute of Physics 1874-2002. Institute of Physics Publishing. ISBN 0-7503-0879-6. 
  2. ^ "Institute History". IOP. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Fritsch, Rudolf; Fritsch, Gerda (1998). The Four Color Theorem: History, Topological Foundations, and Idea of Proof. Springer. ISBN 0-387-98497-6. 
  4. ^ ""Frederick Guthrie",Editorial, Nature 35, 8-10 (04 November 1886)". Nature. doi:10.1038/035008e0. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  5. ^ Guthrie, Frederick (1860). "XIII.—On some derivatives from the olefines". Q. J. Chem. Soc. 12 (1): 109–126. doi:10.1039/QJ8601200109. 
  6. ^ ""Guthrie and the Physical Society", News, Nature 132, 595-596 (14 October 1933)". Nature. doi:10.1038/132595b0. Retrieved 29 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Guthrie, Frederick (1876). Magnetism and Electrictity. London and Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Company.