John William Strutt, 3. Baron Rayleigh

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John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh, OM, PC, PRS (ˈreɪli; 12 November 1842 – 30 June 1919) was a physicist who, with William Ramsay, discovered argon, an achievement for which he earned the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904.

In geophysics, Rayleigh is known for the now called Rayleigh resolution criterion, which plays an important role in seismic resolution. He predicted the existence of the surface waves now known as Rayleigh waves. And the Rayleigh-Taylor instability that was proposed and discarded as driving factor in salt tectonics.

Rayleigh's textbook, The Theory of Sound, is still referred to by acoustic engineers today.