Abel, Sir Frederick Augustus

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Sir Frederick Augustus Abel, 1826–1902, English chemist, an authority on explosives. He was professor of chemistry at the Royal Military Academy (1851–55) and chemist to the War Dept. and government referee (1854–88). Among his achievements are improvements in the manufacture of guncotton; the invention, with Sir James Dewar, of cordite; a study, in collaboration with Sir Andrew Noble, Scottish physicist, of the behavior of black powder when fired; and the invention of an instrument used in the Abel test, named for him, to determine the flash point of petroleum.