Sir Michael James Lighthill, FRS[1] (23 January 1924 – 17 July
1998) was a British applied mathematician, known for his pioneering
work in the field of aeroacoustics.[2][3][4][5][6]

Contents

1 Biography
2 Publications
3 See also
4 References

Biography[edit]
Lighthill was educated at Winchester College, and graduated with a BA
from
**Trinity College, Cambridge**

Trinity College, Cambridge in 1943.[7] He specialised in fluid
dynamics, and worked at the National Physical Laboratory at Trinity.
Between 1946 and 1959 he was Beyer Professor of Applied
**Mathematics**

Mathematics at
the University of Manchester. Lighthill then moved from Manchester to
become director of the
**Royal Aircraft Establishment**

Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough.
There he worked on the development of television and communications
satellites, and on the development of manned spacecraft. This latter
work was used in the development of the
**Concorde**

Concorde supersonic airliner.
In 1955, together with G. B. Whitham, Lighthill set out the first
comprehensive theory of kinematic waves[8][9] (an application of the
method of characteristics), with a multitude of applications, prime
among them fluid flow and traffic flow.
Lighthill's early work included two dimensional aerofoil theory, and
supersonic flow around solids of revolution. In addition to the
dynamics of gas at high speeds he studied shock and blast waves and
introduced the squirmer model. He is credited with founding the
subject of aeroacoustics, a subject vital to the reduction of noise in
jet engines.
**Lighthill's eighth power law** states that the acoustic
power radiated by a jet engine is proportional to the eighth power of
the jet speed.[10] He also founded non-linear acoustics, and showed
that the same non-linear differential equations could model both flood
waves in rivers and traffic flow in highways.
In 1964 he became the Royal Society's resident professor at Imperial
College London, before returning to Trinity College, Cambridge, five
years later as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a chair he held
until 1979, when he was succeeded by Stephen Hawking. Lighthill then
became Provost of
**University College London**

University College London (UCL) – a post he
held until 1989.
Lighthill founded the Institute of
**Mathematics**

Mathematics and its Applications in
1964, alongside Professor Sir Bryan Thwaites. In 1968, he was awarded
an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Science) by the University of Bath.[11]
In 1972 he was invited to deliver the MacMillan Memorial Lecture to
the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland. He chose
the subject 'Aquatic Animal Locomotion'.
In the early 1970s, partly in reaction to significant internal discord
within that field, the Science Research Council (SRC), as it was then
known, asked Lighthill to compile a review of academic research in
Artificial Intelligence. Lighthill's report, which was published in
1973 and became known as the "Lighthill report," was highly critical
of basic research in foundational areas such as robotics and language
processing, and "formed the basis for the decision by the British
government to end support for AI research in all but two
universities",[12] starting what is sometimes referred to as the "AI
winter".
Lighthill was awarded the
**Ludwig-Prandtl-Ring** from the Deutsche
Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt (German Society for Aeronautics
and Astronautics) for "outstanding contribution in the field of
aerospace engineering" in 1983.
His hobby was open-water swimming. He died in the water in 1998 when
the mitral valve in his heart ruptured while he was swimming round the
island of Sark, a feat which he had accomplished many times
before.[13]
Publications[edit]

Lighthill, M. J. (1952). "On sound generated aerodynamically. I.
General theory". Proceedings of the
**Royal Society**

Royal Society A. 211 (1107):
564–587. Bibcode:1952RSPSA.211..564L.
doi:10.1098/rspa.1952.0060.
Lighthill, M. J. (1954). "On sound generated aerodynamically. II.
Turbulence as a source of sound". Proceedings of the
**Royal Society**

Royal Society A.
222 (1148): 1–32. Bibcode:1954RSPSA.222....1L.
doi:10.1098/rspa.1954.0049.
Lighthill, M. J. (1958). Introduction to Fourier Analysis. Cambridge
Monographs on Mechanics. Cambridge, UK:
**Cambridge University**

Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 0-521-09128-4.
Lighthill, M. J. (1958). Introduction to Fourier analysis and
generalised functions. New York:
**Cambridge University**

Cambridge University Press.
ISBN 0-521-05556-3. [14]
Lighthill, M. J. (1960). Higher approximations in aerodynamics theory.
Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-07976-5.
Lighthill, M. J. (1986). An informal introduction to theoretical fluid
mechanics. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 0-19-853630-5.
Lighthill, M. J. (1987). Mathematical Biofluiddynamics. CBMS-NSF
Regional Conference Series in Applied Mathematics. Society for
Industrial Mathematics. ISBN 0-89871-014-6.
Lighthill, M. J. (2001). Waves in fluids. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge
University Press. ISBN 0-521-01045-4.
Lighthill, M. J. (1997). Hussaini, M. Yousuff, ed. Collected papers of
Sir James Lighthill. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
ISBN 0-19-509222-8.

See also[edit]

Lighthill method in differential equations[15]
**James Lighthill**

James Lighthill House

References[edit]

^ Pedley, Tim J. (2001). "Sir (Michael) James Lighthill. 23 January
1924 – 17 July 1998: Elected F.R.S. 1953". Biographical Memoirs of
Fellows of the Royal Society. 47: 333–356.
doi:10.1098/rsbm.2001.0019.
^ O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F., "James Lighthill", MacTutor
History of
**Mathematics**

Mathematics archive, University of St Andrews .
^
**James Lighthill**

James Lighthill at the
**Mathematics**

Mathematics Genealogy Project
^ "The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography". 2004.
doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/68885.
^ "Engines of Ingenuity No. 2250: Sir Michael
**James Lighthill**

James Lighthill by John
H. Lienhard". Retrieved 28 July 2011.
^ Pedley, T. J. (2001). "
**James Lighthill**

James Lighthill and his contributions to
fluid mechanics". Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics. 33: 1–41.
Bibcode:2001AnRFM..33....1P. doi:10.1146/annurev.fluid.33.1.1.
^ "Michael James Lighthill". University of St Andrews. Retrieved 25
August 2015.
^ Lighthill, M. J.; Whitham, G. B. (1955). "On Kinematic Waves. I.
Flood Movement in Long Rivers". Proceedings of the
**Royal Society**

Royal Society A:
Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 229 (1178): 281.
Bibcode:1955RSPSA.229..281L. doi:10.1098/rspa.1955.0088.
^ Lighthill, M. J.; Whitham, G. B. (1955). "On Kinematic Waves. II. A
Theory of Traffic Flow on Long Crowded Roads". Proceedings of the
**Royal Society**

Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences. 229
(1178): 317. Bibcode:1955RSPSA.229..317L.
doi:10.1098/rspa.1955.0089.
^ Crighton, David (March 1999). "Obituary: James Lighthill". Physics
Today. 52 (3): 104–106. Bibcode:1999PhT....52c.104C.
doi:10.1063/1.882537. Archived from the original on 2013-10-10.
^ http://www.bath.ac.uk/ceremonies/hongrads/older.html
^ Russell, Stuart J.; Norvig, Peter (2003), Artificial Intelligence: A
Modern Approach (2nd ed.), Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice
Hall, ISBN 0-13-790395-2
^ Crighton, D., 1999, J. Fluid Mech., vol. 386, pp. 1–3
^ Lees, Milton (1959). "Review: Introduction to Fourier analysis and
generalised functions, by M. J. Lighthill". Bull. Amer. Math. Soc. 65
(4): 248–249. doi:10.1090/S0002-9904-1959-10325-6.
^ Smith, Peter K.; Jordan, Dominic William (2007). Nonlinear ordinary
differential equations: an introduction for scientists and engineers.
Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press.
ISBN 0-19-920825-5.

Academic offices

Preceded by
Sydney Goldstein
Beyer Chair of Applied
**Mathematics**

Mathematics at University of Manchester
1950–1959
Succeeded by
Fritz Ursell

Preceded by
Paul Dirac
Lucasian Professor of
**Mathematics**

Mathematics at Cambridge University
1969–1978
Succeeded by
Stephen Hawking

Preceded by
Noel Annan
Provost of University College London
1979–1989
Succeeded by
Derek Roberts

v
t
e

Lucasian Professors of Mathematics

**Isaac Barrow**

Isaac Barrow (1664)
**Isaac Newton**

Isaac Newton (1669)
**William Whiston**

William Whiston (1702)
**Nicholas Saunderson**

Nicholas Saunderson (1711)
**John Colson** (1739)
**Edward Waring**

Edward Waring (1760)
**Isaac Milner** (1798)
**Robert Woodhouse**

Robert Woodhouse (1820)
**Thomas Turton**

Thomas Turton (1822)
**George Biddell Airy**

George Biddell Airy (1826)
**Charles Babbage**

Charles Babbage (1828)
**Joshua King**

Joshua King (1839)
George Stokes (1849)
**Joseph Larmor** (1903)
**Paul Dirac**

Paul Dirac (1932)
**James Lighthill**

James Lighthill (1969)
**Stephen Hawking**

Stephen Hawking (1979)
Michael Green (2009)
**Michael Cates** (2015)

v
t
e

Copley Medallists (1951–2000)

**David Keilin**

David Keilin (1951)
**Paul Dirac**

Paul Dirac (1952)
**Albert Kluyver**

Albert Kluyver (1953)
**E. T. Whittaker**

E. T. Whittaker (1954)
**Ronald Fisher**

Ronald Fisher (1955)
**Patrick Blackett** (1956)
**Howard Florey**

Howard Florey (1957)
**John Edensor Littlewood** (1958)
**Frank Macfarlane Burnet**

Frank Macfarlane Burnet (1959)
**Harold Jeffreys**

Harold Jeffreys (1960)
**Hans Adolf Krebs**

Hans Adolf Krebs (1961)
**Cyril Norman Hinshelwood**

Cyril Norman Hinshelwood (1962)
**Paul Fildes**

Paul Fildes (1963)
Sydney Chapman (1964)
**Alan Lloyd Hodgkin**

Alan Lloyd Hodgkin (1965)
**Lawrence Bragg**

Lawrence Bragg (1966)
**Bernard Katz** (1967)
**Tadeusz Reichstein**

Tadeusz Reichstein (1968)
**Peter Medawar**

Peter Medawar (1969)
**Alexander R. Todd**

Alexander R. Todd (1970)
**Norman Pirie** (1971)
**Nevill Francis Mott** (1972)
**Andrew Huxley**

Andrew Huxley (1973)
**W. V. D. Hodge**

W. V. D. Hodge (1974)
**Francis Crick**

Francis Crick (1975)
**Dorothy Hodgkin**

Dorothy Hodgkin (1976)
**Frederick Sanger**

Frederick Sanger (1977)
**Robert Burns Woodward**

Robert Burns Woodward (1978)
**Max Perutz**

Max Perutz (1979)
**Derek Barton** (1980)
**Peter D. Mitchell**

Peter D. Mitchell (1981)
**John Cornforth**

John Cornforth (1982)
**Rodney Robert Porter**

Rodney Robert Porter (1983)
**Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar**

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (1984)
**Aaron Klug**

Aaron Klug (1985)
**Rudolf Peierls**

Rudolf Peierls (1986)
Robin Hill (1987)
**Michael Atiyah**

Michael Atiyah (1988)
**César Milstein**

César Milstein (1989)
**Abdus Salam**

Abdus Salam (1990)
**Sydney Brenner**

Sydney Brenner (1991)
**George Porter**

George Porter (1992)
James D. Watson (1993)
**Frederick Charles Frank**

Frederick Charles Frank (1994)
**Frank Fenner** (1995)
**Alan Cottrell**

Alan Cottrell (1996)
**Hugh Huxley** (1997)
**James Lighthill**

James Lighthill (1998)
**John Maynard Smith**

John Maynard Smith (1999)
Alan Battersby (2000)

v
t
e

John von Neumann Lecturers

**Lars Ahlfors**

Lars Ahlfors (1960)
**Mark Kac**

Mark Kac (1961)
**Jean Leray**

Jean Leray (1962)
**Stanislaw Ulam**

Stanislaw Ulam (1963)
**Solomon Lefschetz**

Solomon Lefschetz (1964)
**Freeman Dyson**

Freeman Dyson (1965)
**Eugene Wigner**

Eugene Wigner (1966)
**Chia-Chiao Lin** (1967)
**Peter Lax**

Peter Lax (1968)
**George F. Carrier**

George F. Carrier (1969)
**James H. Wilkinson** (1970)
**Paul Samuelson**

Paul Samuelson (1971)
Jule Charney (1974)
**James Lighthill**

James Lighthill (1975)
**René Thom**

René Thom (1976)
**Kenneth Arrow** (1977)
Peter Henrici (1978)
Kurt O. Friedrichs (1979)
**Keith Stewartson** (1980)
**Garrett Birkhoff** (1981)
**David Slepian**

David Slepian (1982)
Joseph B. Keller (1983)
**Jürgen Moser**

Jürgen Moser (1984)
John W. Tukey (1985)
**Jacques-Louis Lions**

Jacques-Louis Lions (1986)
**Richard M. Karp**

Richard M. Karp (1987)
**Germund Dahlquist** (1988)
**Stephen Smale**

Stephen Smale (1989)
**Andrew Majda**

Andrew Majda (1990)
**R. Tyrrell Rockafellar**

R. Tyrrell Rockafellar (1992)
Martin D. Kruskal (1994)
Carl de Boor (1996)
**William Kahan**

William Kahan (1997)
**Olga Ladyzhenskaya**

Olga Ladyzhenskaya (1998)
**Charles S. Peskin** (1999)
**Persi Diaconis**

Persi Diaconis (2000)
**David Donoho** (2001)
**Eric Lander**

Eric Lander (2002)
**Heinz-Otto Kreiss** (2003)
**Alan C. Newell** (2004)
**Jerrold E. Marsden**

Jerrold E. Marsden (2005)
**George C. Papanicolaou**

George C. Papanicolaou (2006)
**Nancy Kopell** (2007)
David Gottlieb (2008)
**Franco Brezzi**

Franco Brezzi (2009)
**Bernd Sturmfels**

Bernd Sturmfels (2010)
**Ingrid Daubechies**

Ingrid Daubechies (2011)
**John M. Ball**

John M. Ball (2012)
**Stanley J. Osher**

Stanley J. Osher (2013)
**Leslie Greengard** (2014)
**Jennifer Tour Chayes**

Jennifer Tour Chayes (2015)
**Donald Knuth**

Donald Knuth (2016)
Bernard J. Matkowsky (2017)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities
VIAF: 8430889
LCCN: n79077261
ISNI: 0000 0001 2119 8501
GND: 115666664
SUDOC: 031595537
BNF: cb12277983x (data