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Sir John Leslie - Physicist

Sir John Leslie, the natural philosopher and physicist, was born in Largo, the son of a carpenter. He studied at the unversities of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and became
tutor to the Wedgwood family, with whom he travelled in America and on the Continent. Despite controversy over his atheism, he was appointed to the Chair of Mathematics at Edinburgh University in 1805, and worked on geometry and trigonometry.

While engaged in experimental research he became interested in heat transfer and published widely, his most notable work being An Experimental Inquiry into the Nature and Properties of Heat in 1804.

He was the first to create artificial ice using an air pump in 1810, and his other inventions included the pyroscope, atmometer and aethrioscope, together with a differential thermometer, a hygrometer, a photometer. He transferred to the Chair of Natural Philosophy at Edinburgh in 1819, and was knighted in 1832.

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