(9 Dec 1667 - 22 Aug 1752)
English priest and mathematician.
No quotes by this name.
Quotes by others about William Whiston (2)
Circles to square and cubes to double
Would give a man excessive trouble.
The longitude uncertain roams,
In spite of Whiston and his bombs.
In 'Alma', Canto III, in Samuel Johnson, The Works of the English Poets, from Chaucer to Cowper (1810), 203. The reference to longitude reflects the difficulty of its determination at sea, and the public interest in the attempts to win the prize instituted by the British government in 1714 for a successful way to find longitude at sea (eventually won by John Harrison's chronometer). In this poem, William Whiston (who succeeded Isaac Newton as Lucasian Professor at Cambridge) is being satirized for what many thought was a crack-brained scheme to find the longitude. This proposed, with Humphrey Ditton, the use of widely separated ships firing off shells programmed to explode at a set time, and calculation of distance between them made from the time-lag between the observed sounds of the explosions using the known speed of sound.
No old Men (excepting Dr. Wallis) love Mathematicks.
Comment made by Newton to William Whiston. Quoted in Richard Westfall, Never at Rest: A Biography of Isaac Newton (1980), 139.
- - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Whiston's birth. 9 Dec
- William Whiston: Honest Newtonian, by James E. Force. - book suggestion.