Open main menu

Arthur Louis Day (October 30, 1869 – March 2, 1960) was an American geophysicist and volcanologist. He studied high temperature thermometry, seismology and geothermal energy.

Arthur Louis Day
Dr. Arthur L. Day LOC npcc.06974 (cropped).jpg
Born(1869-10-30)October 30, 1869
DiedMarch 2, 1960(1960-03-02) (aged 90)
Alma materSheffield Scientific School at Yale University
University of Groningen
AwardsJohn Scott Medal
Bakhuis Roozeboom Medal
William Bowie Medal (1940)
Wollaston Medal (1941)
Penrose Medal (1947)
Scientific career
Geothermal energy
InstitutionsYale University
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
U.S. Geological Survey


Early lifeEdit

Day was born in Brookfield, Massachusetts[1] and received his A.B. from Sheffield Scientific School at Yale University in 1892. He earn his Ph.D from Sheffield in 1894, and taught at Yale until 1897.[2] Day received an honorary doctorate from the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) on July 1, 1914.[3][4]


In 1894 and 1895 he worked with German physicist Friedrich Kohlrausch studying the conductive properties of electrolytes.[5] From 1897-1900 he worked at Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Berlin and began his study of thermometry.[6]

He worked with the U.S. Geological Survey from 1900-1907 studying the properties of rocks and minerals at very high and low temperatures.[7] Day served as the director of the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution for Science from 1907 until his retirement in 1936. From 1933-1941 he served as vice president of the National Academy of Sciences.[6] He was president of The Geological Society of America in 1938.[8]

Following his retirement, he traveled to New Zealand to continue his study of seismology and geothermal energy. He studied the area's volcanic areas until he had to stop his research in 1946 due to poor health.[9]

He died on March 2, 1960 in Washington, D.C..[10]

Awards and legacyEdit

Day was awarded the John Scott Medal, the Wollaston Medal, the Penrose Medal, the Bakhuis Roozeboom Medal and the William Bowie Medal.[9]

In 1948, Day established the Arthur L. Day Medal through the Geological Society of America. The medal is for "outstanding distinction in contributing to geologic knowledge through the application of physics and chemistry to the solution of geologic problems".[11]

Family lifeEdit

Day was the son of Daniel P. and Fanie (Hobbs) Day. In 1900, he married Helen Kohlrausch, daughter of physicist Friedrich Kohlrausch. Day and his wife had four children: Margaret, Dorothy, Helen and Ralph. In 1933, he married Ruth Sarah Easling. They had no children together.[12]


  1. ^ Abelson, Philip H. (1975). "Arthur Louis Day". Biographical Memoirs, vol. XLVII. National Academy of Sciences. p. 27. Retrieved 2008-05-25.
  2. ^ "Arthur Louis Day" (PDF). The National Academies Press. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  3. ^ Album Studiosorum Academiae Groninganae, Promotiën, p. 621.
  4. ^ Jaarboek der Rijksuniversiteit te Groningen. 1913-1914. Promotiën. Faculteit der Wis- en Natuurkunde. Honoris Causa. Aard- en Delfstofkunde. 1914, 1 Juli, p. 91.
  5. ^ "Arthur Louis Day" (PDF). National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "History of Geophysics: Volume 5—The Earth, the Heavens and the Carnegie Institution of Washington" (PDF). The Carnegie Institution of Washington. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  7. ^ "Arthur Louis Day (1869-1960)". Smithsonian Institution Archives. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  8. ^ Eckel, Edwin, 1982, GSA Memoir 155, The Geological Society of America — Life History of a Learned Society: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America Memoir 155, 168 p., ISBN 0-8137-1155-X.
  9. ^ a b "Arthur L. Day". Carnegie Institute of Washington. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  10. ^ "Arthur L. Day". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  11. ^
  12. ^ National Academies (1975). Biographical Memoirs, Volume 47. p. 37.

External linksEdit