Lewis Fry Richardson (1881-1953)

British physicist and meteorologist. Born on 11 October 1881 in Newcastle upon Tyne.

After studying natural sciences at Kings College, Cambridge (1900-1903), and various appointments after, Richardson began working for the Meteorological Office (1913) as superintendent of Eskdalemuir Observatory. While there, he developed a system of weather prediction based on the mathematics of the atmosphere.

With the onset of war his research was interrupted between 1916 and 1919 Richardson served in the Friends' Ambulance Unit as a medical orderly with the French Army. During this time he lost the original manuscript he was working on but found it some months later under a pile of coal. It was published in 1922 as Weather Prediction by Numerical Process.

Richardson showed that the degree of accuracy and speed of predicting changes in weather could not be obtained by methods of observation and computation then available. Richardson also applied his ideas to the causes of war, publishing a paper on the mathematical psychology of war in 1919.

He became head of the physics department of Westminster Training College in 1920 and in 1929 was appointed principal of Paisley Technical College and School of Art. He retired in 1940 to carry out research on the causes of war and on eddy diffusion. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1926. Richardson died at his home in Kilmun, Argyllshire, on 30 September 1953.