Lord Rayleigh, a.k.a. John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (1842–1919), was, in my opinion, a quintessential mathematical and experimental physicist and, indeed, a classical applied mathematician of the highest order for his era. Among the many honors he received, the most prestigious was the 1904 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies.” He was one of the very few members of so-called British “higher nobility” who won fame as an outstanding scientist.

His collected scientific papers are published in three scholarly books of two volumes each as shown.

Question 1:

Question 2: Estimate the combined mass of all three books.

Fermi Questions are brief questions with answers and back-of-the-envelope estimation techniques. To submit ideas, please email John Adam (jadam@odu.edu).

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