George Airy

George Biddell Airy

1801 (Alnwick, England) – 1892 (Greenwich, England)

The meticulous Airy’s vast correspondence network (many also friends) included Beaufort, FitzRoy, Faraday, Maxwell, Galton, Brunel, Quetelet, Encke, Regnault, Lyell and Owen. He went for long walks with his warm lifetime friend Sedgwick, and visited Southey and Wordsworth in Cumbria, Arago and Laplace in France, and Gauss and Humboldt in Germany. Authoritarian and intolerant of others’ opinions, he had a long and bitter professional argument with Cayley, kept up a running feud with Babbage over everything from telescope design to railway gauges, and effectively terminated funding for his analytical engine.