Francis John Welsh Whipple

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Francis John Welsh Whipple (17 March 1876 – 25 September 1943) was an English mathematician and meteorologist. From 1925 to 1939 he was superintendent of the Kew Observatory.


He was the son of Kew Observatory employees George Matthew Whipple and Elizabeth Beckley, an astronomical photographer.[1]

Whipple attended the Merchant Taylors' School and obtained a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1895; he was placed Second Wrangler in the Mathematical Tripos of 1897.

In 1899, he showed that bicycles could be self stable.[2][3][4]

From 1899-1912 he was Assistant Master at Merchant Taylors' School, and he worked at the Meteorological Office from 1912-1925,[5] he served as president of the Royal Meteorological Society from 1936 to 1937.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Macdonald, Lee (9 March 2017). "'Work peculiarly fitting to a lady': Elizabeth Beckley and the early years of solar photography". Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  2. ^ J. D. G. Kooijman; J. P. Meijaard; J. M. Papadopoulos; A. Ruina; A. L. Schwab (April 15, 2011). "A bicycle can be self-stable without gyrosocpic or caster effects" (PDF). Science. 332 (6027): 339–342. Bibcode:2011Sci...332..339K. doi:10.1126/science.1201959. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  3. ^ Roger Highfield (Jun 2007). "The mathematical way to ride a bike". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2011-04-16.
  4. ^ J. P. Meijaard; J. M. Papadopoulos; A. Ruina; A. L. Schwab (2007). "Linearized dynamics equations for the balance and steer of a bicycle: a benchmark and review" (PDF). Proceedings of the Royal Society A. 463 (2084): 1955–1982. Bibcode:2007RSPSA.463.1955M. doi:10.1098/rspa.2007.1857.
  5. ^ "Whipple, Francis John Welsh (WHPL894FJ)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  6. ^ "List of Presidents". Royal Meteorological Society. Retrieved 20 December 2010.

External links[edit]

  • W. N., Bailey (1943). "Francis John Welsh Whipple". Journal of the London Mathematical Society. s1-18 (4): 249. doi:10.1112/jlms/s1-18.4.249. Obituary of Francis John Welsh Whipple by W. N. Bailey: J. London Math. Soc., October 1943; s1-18: 249 - 256