Lovelock, James Ephraim

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b. 26 July 1919 Brixton, London, England
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English biologist and philosopher, inventor of the microwave oven and electron capture detector.
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Lovelock was brought up in Brixton in modest circumstances. At the age of 4 he was given a toy electrical set, which first turned his attention towards the study of science. From the Strand School, Brixton, he went on to the universities of Manchester and London, and after graduating in science, in 1941 he joined the National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, as a staff scientist, remaining there for twenty years. During the early 1950s, he and his colleagues were engaged in research into freezing live animals and bringing them back to life by heating: Lovelock was struck by the intense pain this process caused the animals, and he sought a more humane method. He tried diathermy or internal heating through the effect of a continuous wave magnetron borrowed from the Navy. He found that the animals were brought back to life painlessly, and impressed with his success he tried baking a potato for his lunch in the apparatus and found that it cooked amazingly quickly compared with the one hour normally needed in an ordinary oven. Lovelock had invented the microwave oven, but its commercial possibilities were not at first realized.
In the late 1950s he invented the electron capture detector, which proved to be more sensitive than any other analytical equipment in detecting and measuring toxic substances. The apparatus therefore had obvious uses in testing the quality of the environment and so offered a tremendous boost to the "green" movement. In 1961 he was invited to joint the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to employ the apparatus in an attempt to detect life in space.
In the early 1970s Lovelock relinquished his biological work in order to devote his attention to philosophical matters, specifically to develop his theory of the Universe, now widely celebrated as the "Gaia theory". In this controversial theory, Lovelock regards our planet and all its living beings, including humans, as a single living organism.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
CBE 1990. FRS 1974. Many academic awards and honorary degrees. Visiting Professor, University of Reading 1967–90.
Bibliography
1979, Gaia.
1983, The Great Extinction.
1988, The Ages of Gaia.
1991, Gaia: The Practical Science of Planetary Medicine.
LRD

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lovelock , James Ephraim — (1919–) British scientist A Londoner, Lovelock was educated at the universities of London and Manchester during the early years of World War II. After graduating in 1941 he joined the staff of the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in …   Scientists

  • James Lovelock — en 2005. Nombre …   Wikipedia Español

  • James Lovelock — en 2005. James Ephraim Lovelock (né le 26 juillet 1919 à Letchworth (Grande Bretagne) est un penseur, scientifique et environnementaliste indépendant de nationalité britannique. Il est spécialiste des sciences de l atmosphère. Il vit… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Lovelock — James Lovelock James Lovelock en 2005. James Ephraim Lovelock (né le 26 juillet 1919) est un scientifique, chercheur, auteur et environnementaliste indépendant de nationalité britannique. Il est spécialiste des sciences de l atmosphère. Il vit… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • James Lovelock — 2005 James Ephraim Lovelock, CH, CBE (* 26. Juli 1919 in Letchworth, England) ist Chemiker, Mediziner, Biophysiker und Erfinder und Mitbegründer der Gaia Hypothese zur Physiologie der Erde (Geophysiologie). Zurzeit ist er Honorary Visiting Fellow …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ephraim — (1842–44) von Francesco Hayez Ephraim ist ein männlicher Vorname, der auf die Tradition des biblischen Stammes Ephraim zurückgeht. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • James Lovelock — James Ephraim Lovelock (n. 26 de julio de 1919) es un científico independiente, escritor, inventor y ambientalista, famoso por la Hipótesis Gaia, que visualiza a la Tierra como un sistema autoregulado. Su invento, el Detector de captura de… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • James Lovelock — Infobox Scientist name = James Ephraim Lovelock birth date = 26 July 1919 Hertfordshire, England death date = residence = England nationality = British field = Chemistry, Earth Science work institution = Independent researcher alma mater =… …   Wikipedia

  • Lovelock — /ˈlʌvlɒk/ (say luvlok) noun 1. James Ephraim, born 1919, British chemist, medical scientist, and earth scientist; while working for NASA in the US developed the Gaia hypothesis. 2. William, 1899–1986, Australian composer, music critic, and… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Efraim — Ephraim (1842–44) von Francesco Hayez Ephraim ist ein männlicher Vorname, der auf die Tradition des biblischen Stammes Ephraim zurückgeht. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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