ATWOOD, GEORGE (1746-1807), English mathematician, was born in the early part of the year 1746. He entered Westminster school, and in 1759 was elected to a scholarship at Trinity College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1769, with the rank of third wrangler and first Smith's prizeman. Subsequently he became a fellow and a tutor of the college, and in 1776 was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of London. In the year 1784 he left Cambridge, and soon afterwards received from William Pitt the office of a patent searcher of the customs, which required but little attendance, and enabled him to devote a considerable portion of his time to his special studies. He died in July 1807. Atwood's published works, exclusive of papers contributed to the Philosophical Transactions, for one of which he obtained the Copley medal, are as follows: - Analysis of a Course of Lectures on the Principles of Natural Philosophy (Cambridge, 1784); Treatise on the Rectilinear Motion and Rotation of Bodies (Cambridge, 1784), which gives some interesting experiments, by means of which mechanical truths can be ocularly exhibited and demonstrated, and describes the machine, since called by Atwood's name, for verifying experimentally the laws of simple acceleration of motion; Review of the Statutes and Ordinances of Assize which have been established in England from the 4th year of King John, 1202, to the 37th of his present Majesty (London, 1801), a work of some historical research; Dissertation on the Construction and Properties of Arches (London, 1801), with supplement, pt. i., 1801, pt. ii., 1804, an elaborate work, now completely superseded.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)