Who was the “Mr. Josiah Willard Gibbs of New Haven” who was appointed professor of mathematical physics by the Yale Corporation on 13 July 1871? He was born on 11 February 1839, the only son and the fourth of the five children of Mary Anna Van Cleve Gibbs and Josiah Willard Gibbs the elder, a distinguished philologist and professor of sacred literature at Yale. Although the elder Gibbs worked in a field of learning very different from his son's, there were common features in their approaches. What was said of the father could well have been said of the son: “Mr. Gibbs loved system, and was never satisfied until he had cast his material into the proper form. His essays on special topics are marked by the nicest logical arrangement.”
The Physics of J. Willard Gibbs in his Time
Martin J. Klein; The Physics of J. Willard Gibbs in his Time. Physics Today 1 September 1990; 43 (9): 40–48. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.881258
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