This is a biographical sketch of William Hyde Wollaston. Wollaston studied and made advances in many scientific fields, including chemistry, physics, botany, crystallography, optics, astronomy and mineralogy. He is particularly noted for being the first to observe dark lines in the spectrum of the sun, discovering the elements palladium and rhodium, and proving the elementary nature of niobium and titanium. Wollaston also developed a method for making platinum metal malleable, establishing an equivalence between galvanic and frictional electricity, and originating several inventions in optics, including the Wollaston prism that is fundamentally important to interferometry and differential interference (DIC) contrast microscopy. Copyright 2005 International Technology Education Association


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