William de Wiveleslie Abney


Sir William de Wiveleslie Abney (1843-1920), English physicist. Born in Derby, England, on July 24, 1843, he graduated from the military academy at Woolwich in 1861 and served in the Royal Engineers.

William de Wiveleslie Abney

From 1893 to 1895 he was president of the Royal Astronomical Society and then, for two years, president of the Physical Society of London. In 1903 he became adviser to the science and art department of the Board of Education, and also a member of the advisory council for education at the War Office. He died at Folkestone on Dec. 3, 1920.

Sir William de Wiveleslie Abney’s reputation rests largely on his researches in photographic chemistry, stellar photometry, color photography, and spectroscopy, on which he wrote many works. The most important of these are Instruction in Photography (1870), Treatise on Photography (1875), Color Vision, Color Measurement, and Mixture (1893), Instantaneous Photography (1895), Platinotype: Its Preparation and Manipulation (1895), and Researches in Color Vision and the Trichromatic Theory (1913).

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