John R. Womersley

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John Ronald Womersley
Born (1907-06-20)June 20, 1907
Died March 7, 1958(1958-03-07)
Nationality British
Fields Mathematics, computation, fluid dynamics
Alma mater Imperial College of Science and Technology
Known for Womersley number

John Ronald Womersley (20 June 1907 – 7 March 1958) was a British mathematician who made important contributions to textiles, computing and arterial mechanics.[1] He studied mathematics at Imperial College of Science and Technology and subsequently worked at the Shirley Institute (British Cotton Industry Research Institute) Manchester. During World War II he was head of the Ministry of Supply Advisory Service on Statistical Methods. At the end of the war he was appointed superintendent of the Mathematics Division of the National Physical Laboratory.[2] He coined the name Automatic Computing Engine (ACE) for the early electronic computer developed there and recruited Alan Turing to work on it.[3] Nowadays he is principally remembered for his contribution to arterial fluid dynamics and the eponymous Womersley number, a dimensionless parameter expressing the relation of the frequency of pulsatile flow to viscosity.


  • JR Womersley The application of differential geometry to the study of the deformation of cloth under stress, Shirley Institute Memoirs, 1937, 16 No. 1.
  • D. R. Hartree and J. R. Womersley, A method for the numerical or mechanical solution of certain types of partial differential equations, Proc. Royal Soc. 1937, A161 , 353-366.
  • JR Womersley Scientific computing in Great Britain, Math. Tables and Aids to Computation, 1946, 2 , 110-117.
  • JR Womersley Oscillatory motion of a viscous liquid in a thin-walled elastic tube. I. The linear approximation for long waves, Phil. Mag., 1955 46 , 199-221.


  1. ^ F.Smithies John Ronald Womersley (Obituary) J London Math Soc 1959: 370; s1-34.
  2. ^ Sir Charles Darwin, John R. Womersley Obituary Tribute, Nature, May 3, 1958, p. 1240, vol. 181 No. 461
  3. ^

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