Physicist Rev John Kerr (1824 - 1907) was born in Ardrossan. Kerr's most important experimental work was the discovery of double refraction in solid and liquid dielectrics in an electrostatic field (1875) and of the so-called 'Kerr effect'. In the Kerr effect, a change in refractive index is proportional to the square of the electric field. Kerr also was an early champion of the metric system in the UK. His early experiments, now known as Kerr Cells, are preserved in the Hunterian Museum.
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