Strutt, John William (3rd Baron Rayleigh)
Physicist who was president of the Society for Psychical Research
(SPR), London, 1919. He was born on November 12,
1842, at Witham, Essex, England, and was educated at Trinity
College of Cambridge University (fellow, 1866). At the height
of his outstanding career he was named Cavendish Professor of
Experimental Physics at Cambridge (1879–84) and then proEncyclopedia
of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Strutt, John William (3rd Baron Rayleigh)
fessor of natural philosophy at the Royal Institution
(1887–1905). He was also the secretary to the Royal Society for
a decade (1887–96). In 1904 he received the Nobel Prize in
physics for his isolation of argon. In 1908 he was named chancellor
of Cambridge.
Lord Rayleigh became interested in psychical research after
reading about the investigations of his colleague Sir William
Crookes. He was present at sittings with Kate Fox and Eusapia
Palladino. He died on June 30, 1919, a short time after delivering
his presidential address to the SPR.
Strutt, John William. ‘‘Presidential Address.’’ Proceedings of
the Society for Psychical Research 30, no. 77 (1918–19).

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