DOODSON


DOODSON
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31.3.1890 Boothstown/UK - 10.1.1968 Birkenhead/UK
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Arthur Thomas Doodson became at the age of 19 deaf. He studied mathematics and chemistry at Liverpool University, graduating in 1912. In 1916 he moved as an assistant to University College, London. In 1919 the University of Liverpool established the Tidal Institute with Doodson as its secretary under Joseph Proudman (1888-1975). Doodson took over in 1929 as associate director. He was in 1933 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and on retirement of Proudman became director of the Liverpool Observatory and Tidal Institute, today's Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory.
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Doodson's work on tides with a particular analysis of the tides in Newlyn began in 1920. He published a report on the accuracy of the harmonic prediction of tides shortly later. He developed a novel concept of taking harmonic constituents to their ultimate conclusion, an approach which was adopted internationally as standard. Over the next few years Doodson studied the effects of wind and atmospheric pressure on the tides and sea levels. He produced in 1923 the tide-table, giving predictions of the times and heights of high water in Liverpool for 1924. In this year, the Tidal Institute acquired the first tide-predicting machine. After Lord Kelvin (1824-1907) had initiated the prediction of tides, mathematicians were able to break down any regular complex tidal pattern into a sum of simple, regular sinusoidal waves of different size and speed. A sine wave can be represented by the motion of an eccentric wheel. Kelvin represented all different simple components such as the action of the moon or the sun by a different off-centre wheel. Doodson became a master in theses machines and constructed a 42 constituent version each separate moving pulleys representing an oscillatory force to calculate the tides for 160 ports all over the world. He also computed the exact tides for the D-day landings of the Allied Forces in 1944. Until modern computers became available, this was the best machine for tidal predictions.
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Charnock, H. (1981). Doodson, A.T. Dictionary of National biography 1961-1970: 302-303. Doodson, A.T. (1928). Instructions for analyzing tidal observations. Stationary Office: London. Doodson, A.T., Warburg, H.D. (1941). Admiralty manual of tides. Stationary Office: London. Doodson, A.T. (1951). The analysis of high and low waters. Robaudy: Cannes.
Proudman, J. (1968). A.T. Doodson. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 14: 189-205. P http://www.pol.ac.uk/home/insight/doodson.html P

Hydraulicians in Europe 1800-2000 . 2013.

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