Dewar, Sir James (dyōˈər) [key], 1842–1923, British chemist and physicist, b. Scotland. He was professor of chemistry (from 1877) at the Royal Institution, London, and later was director of the Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory there. He is best known for his work on the properties of matter at very low temperatures (approaching absolute zero) and the liquefaction of gases, in the course of which he invented the Dewar flask and liquefied (1898) and solidified (1899) hydrogen. With Sir Frederick Abel he invented the smokeless explosive cordite. He was knighted in 1904.
See his Collected Papers (2 vol., 1927).
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