Edward Sang (1805-1890)

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Sang was born in Fife on 30 January 1805. He went to school in Kirkcaldy and already as a boy he showed an inclination towards mathematics. In 1818, Sang joined Edinburgh University when still a teenager, and studied mathematics.

On leaving the University in 1822 he followed a career as a surveyor and civil engineer, and then became a teacher of mathematics in Edinburgh. In 1828, Sang was elected a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts and he brought before the Society over one hundred papers on a wide variety of subjects covering mathematics, natural philosophy, astronomy, and engineering.

In 1841 he became Professor of Mechanical Science at Manchester New College, and shortly after that he travelled to Istanbul to help in the establishment of civil engineering in Turkey and in the building of railways there. In 1849 Sang was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 1856 he read a paper on the gyroscope in relation to his suggestion of an experiment that would demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. Sang claimed that he had proved this by an experiment in 1836, pre-dating the experiment performed by Foucault.

He died on 23 December 1890.