Barlow, Peter (1776-1862)
A British mathematician and physicist, born at Norwich, England, Peter Barlow is now remembered for his mathematical tables, the Barlow wheel and Barlow lens. His contributions to science in general and magnetism in particular are most impressive. We will concentrate here chiefly on his contributions in direct relation with geomagnetism, which are too often not given the attention they deserve.
Despite lacking formal education, Peter Barlow became assistant mathematical master at the Royal Military Academy in Woolwich in 1801. He was promoted to a professorship in 1806 and worked in Woolwich until retiring in 1847. His first researches were mainly focused on pure mathematics (his "Theory of Numbers" appeared in 1811), but in 1819 he began to work on magnetism. In May 1823, Peter Barlow was elected fellow of the Royal Society. He later also became a member of several of the leading overseas societies (including correspondant of the French Académie des Sciences