Why Famous: Discovered argon with William Ramsay, an achievement which earned him the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904.
Also discovered the phenomenon now called Rayleigh scattering, which can be used to explain why the sky is blue and predicted the existence of the surface waves now known as Rayleigh waves.
Rayleigh's textbook "The Theory of Sound", is still referred to by acoustic engineers today.
- 1873-06-12 John William Strutt [Lord Raleigh] becomes President of the Royal Society (UK)
- 1904-12-10 John William Strutt [Lord Rayleigh] and William Ramsay are presented with the Nobel Prize for Physics for their discovery of Argon