Sir Edward Sabine, a British physicist, born in Dublin in October, 1788. He was educated in the military schools at Marlow and Woolwich, entered the royal artillery in 1803, became captain in 1813, served in the war with the United States, commanding the batteries in the siege of Fort Erie in 1814, and in 1818-19 accompanied Ross and Parry in their first arctic expedition. In 1821 he began a series of investigations in terrestrial physics in several voyages from the equator to the arctic circle. In these investigations, the results of which were published in 1825, he determined the requisite length of the pendulum to beat seconds in different latitudes, and thus laid the basis for an accurate determination of the figure of the earth. In 1838 he presented a memoir of the magnetic isoclinal and isodynamic lines of the British islands, and published "Variability of the Intensity of Magnetism upon Many Parts of the Globe." His discoveries led to the establishment of permanent magnetic observatories in Great Britain and the colonies, the latter under his superintendence, and from 1840 to 1860 he published the results of magnetic observations at the Cape of Good Hope, Hobart Town, St. Helena, and Toronto, in several 4to volumes.
He has been a fellow of the royal society since 1818, was vice president from 1850 to 1861, and president from November, 1861, to November, 1871, when he resigned. He was made a knight of the bath in 1869, and general in 1870.