John Tyndall 1820-1893

  • Born

    John Tyndall was born in Leighlinbridge, Ireland.
  • Studying the Alps

    Studying the Alps
    During this time John started mountaineering expeditions in the Alps and began his study of the movement of glaciers. The theory that these great ice sheets once covered the Northern Hemisphere and gradually moved over time already existed. John's main study was at the legendary Mer de Glace glacier where his team placed stakes. John and his team went back every couple of days to measure the precise distance between stakes to discover that glaciers can move and can move rather quick.
  • First Ratio Spectrophotometer

    First Ratio Spectrophotometer
    John Tyndall studied the capacity gases and vapors have to transmit and absorb radiant heat. To successfully do this John invented the worlds first ratio spectrophotometer. Tyndall discovered that water vapor and carbon dioxide were among the best to absorb heat radiation. This was a key factor to Earth regulating its surface temperature.
  • Tyndall Effect

    Tyndall Effect
    John created the "Tyndall Effect" by studying light passing through colloidal solutions. He discovered that a ray of light is more visible when colloidal particles are denser. A good example of this is when driving a car at night in foggy weather. During the clear night time, the beam of light is not visible unlike when there is a dense fog. Check out this short video https://youtu.be/SoUmz8L87Z4
  • Carbon Dioxide

    Carbon Dioxide
    Tyndall has been called the forgotten discoverer of climate change. It was said that Earth was found to be getting warmer without explanation. Years of experimenting with his spectrometerspere, John discovered the green house effect within the gases of the atmosphere. Johns discovery that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere easily gains and retains heat was the first explanation of a warmer planet.
  • Death

    Died in Haslemere, England of an accidental overdose of sleeping medication.