William Crookes

1832 (London) – 1919 (London)

Crookes discovered an element, and did important work on cathode rays and spectroscopy. He studied with Hofmann, but Faraday, Wheatstone and Stokes nudged him towards chemical physics (a practical experimenter, Stokes and Maxwell often providing theoretical support). Crookes got on well with Tesla (telling him to go home to the mountains or he’d have a breakdown). He had a difference of opinion with Dewar, corresponded with Mendeleev, and told Galton that none of his (Crookes’) ancestors had any interest in science. Becquerel, Curie and Edison were all friends. He first met Faraday (less gullible about spiritualism) at a séance.