Ralph Howard Fowler was born on 17 Jan 1889 in Fedsden, Roydon, Essex, England, UK.
In the first world war, Fowler was commissioned in the Royal Marine Artillery, and wounded in the Gallipoli Campaign.
In 1919, Fowler returned to Trinity College, Cambridge, England, and was appointed college lecturer in mathematics. He worked on thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, co-authoring key papers on stellar conditions, on field electron emission and on the zeroth law of thermodynamis. In 1925 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1932 he was elected to the Chair of Theoretical Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University.
In 1939, when the Second World War began, he was chosen for scientific liaison with Canada and the United States. For this liaison work he was knighted in 1942. He returned to Britain later in the war and worked for the Ordnance Board and the Admiralty up until a few weeks before his death in 1944.
The Fowler Islands in Crystal Sound on the Antarctic Peninsular were named by the UK Antarctic Place-Names Committee in his honour.
Ralph married Eileen Mary Rutherford in 1921. She was the only daughter of Ernest Rutherford. They had four children, two sons and two daughters. Eileen died after the birth of their last child.
Ralph died on 28 July 1944 in Trumpington, Cambridge, England, UK.
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