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William Hyde Wollaston

Wollaston, William Hyde, 1766–1828, English scientist, M.D. Cambridge, 1793. His wide-ranging scientific achievements include the discovery (1802) of the dark lines (Fraunhofer lines) in the solar spectrum; invention of the reflecting goniometer (an instrument by which the angles of crystals are measured) and of the camera lucida; a method of making platinum malleable; the discovery of the elements palladium (1803) and rhodium (1804); and establishment of (1801) the equivalence of galvanic and frictional electricity. He created an endowment with the Wollaston medal to be awarded annually by the Geological Society, London, for outstanding research. Wollastonite, a mineral compound of calcium, silicon, and oxygen, was named in his honor.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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