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Book Chapter

Knott, Cargill Gilston

Published:
January 01, 2007

Abstract

Cargill Gilston Knott was the son of Pelham Knott, author of a volume of poetry, who died young. Cargill was brought up by an uncle and aunt. He entered Edinburgh University in 1872, and after gaining his first degree became assistant to P. G. Tait in the Department of Natural Philosophy. In 1883 he left Edinburgh to become a professor of physics at the Imperial University of Japan. In Tokyo he married a Scottish lady, Mary Dixon, sister of the professor of English at the Imperial University. He returned to Edinburgh in 1891 as lecturer, later reader, in applied mathematics, and died in his office from a heart attack in 1922.

On arriving in Japan, Knott became a member of the famous group (J. Milne, M. Ewing, and T. Gray from Britain, and several Japanese) who inaugurated the modern era in earthquake study. Knott’s contributions were chiefly on the mathematical side. He utilized the observational results of his colleagues to pioneer the application of seismology to determine the internal mechanical properties of the earth. In the course of this work, he traced the connection between the times taken by earthquake waves in traveling from the center of the disturbance through the earth’s interior to seismic recording stations, and worked out many of the detailed physical characteristics of the waves. These and other pioneering results formed the basis of many later researches on the interior of the earth.

While in Japan, Knott also organized and supervised the first comprehensive magnetic survey of Japan. Many of his pupils and their pupils became Japan’s leading investigators of the earth’s magnetic field. In addition he investigated Japanese volcanic eruptions.

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Contents

Society of Exploration Geophysicists Geophysics Reprint Series

Classics of Elastic Wave Theory

Michael A. Pelissier
Michael A. Pelissier
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Henning Hoeber
Henning Hoeber
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Norbert van de Coevering
Norbert van de Coevering
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Ian F. Jones
Ian F. Jones
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Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Volume
24
ISBN electronic:
9781560801931
Publication date:
January 01, 2007

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