James Robert McConnell

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James Robert C. McConnell (born Dublin 25 February 1915; died 13 February 1999) was an Irish Catholic priest and theoretical physicist. Fr. McConnell entered University College Dublin (UCD) in 1932 and graduated in 1936 with a first-class honours master's degree in mathematics. After leaving UCD, McConnell began his study for the priesthood, entering Clonliffe College. He moved to Rome after a year and earned a B.D., B.C.L., and S.T.L. and was ordained in 1939. He was made a Doctor of Mathematical Sciences by the Royal University of Rome (La Sapienza) in 1941.[1]

Fr. McConnell was appointed a scholar in the newly founded Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in 1942. Fr. McConnell was appointed Professor of Mathematical Physics in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth, having been awarded a D.Sc. from the National University of Ireland for his research there in 1949.[2] He is best known for research on Rotational Brownian motion, the electric and magnetic properties of matter and the theory of the negative proton (or anti-proton).

Fr. McConnell served as Dean of the Faculty of Science, of Maynooth, from 1957 to 1968, and registrar of the College from 1966 to 1968.[1]

McConnell was the 1986 recipient of the RDS Irish Times Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence.[3] Dr. McConnell was appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 1990, and honoured with the title of Monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1991.

Further reading[edit]

  • James Robert McConnell (1980). Rotational Brownian motion and Dielectric Theory. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-481850-1.


  1. ^ a b Mgr James Robert McConnell Irish Times, April 9, 1999.
  2. ^ Rev. Msgr. James Robert McConnell by George V. Coyne, SJ., Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
  3. ^ Boyle Medal Laureates Royal Dublin Society