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Tait, Peter Guthrie


Mathematician, born in Dalkeith, Midlothian, EC Scotland, UK. He studied at the universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge, and became professor of mathematics at Belfast (1854) and professor of natural philosophy at Edinburgh (1860--1901). He was a major influence in the development of mathematical physics. He wrote on quaternions, thermodynamics, and the kinetic theory of gases, and collaborated with Lord Kelvin on a Treatise on Natural Philosophy (1867). A golf enthusiast, he studied the dynamics of the flight of a golf-ball and discovered the importance of underspin'.

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