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William Herschel

William Herschel (November 15, 1738 - August 25, 1822) was an astronomer and composer; who discovered Uranus (1781) and infrared radiation (c.1800). Herschel was born as Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in Hanover, Germany; he changed his name after moving to England. His sister, Caroline Herschel, worked with him for many years and also made some significant discoveries. His son, John Herschel, also became an astronomer. In 1782, William Herschel was appointed "The King’s Astronomer" and he and his sister moved to Datchet in Berkshire. In 1785, due to damp conditions, they moved to Clay Hall in Old Windsor. In 1786, they moved to their now famous residence, Windsor Road, in Slough. The house, now called Observatory House is no longer standing. Hershel married Mary Pitt in Upton in 1788. They had one child; John.

William Herschel and Infrared Radiation

Herschel discovered infrared radiation by passing sunlight through a prism and holding a thermometer just beyond the red end of the visible spectrum. The thermometer indicated a temperature increase and this led to Herschel's conclusion that there must be an invisible form of energy.

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