1) His full name
Alfred Arthur Robb
2) His educational and professional history (where he was educated,
when he started at Cambridge, etc.)
The best passage I can find is:
"Alfred A. Robb (1873-1936) was trained in mathematics at Cambridge,
and went on in 1904 to write a dissertation on the Zeeman effect under
Woldemar Voigt's direction in Göttingen."
Google cache of "The non-Euclidean style of Minkowskian relativity,"
by Scott Walter (The Symbolic Universe, J. Gray (ed.), Oxford
University Press, 1999, pp. 91-127)
Université Nancy 2
There is a photograph of him among "The Post-Graduates at the
Cavendish Laboratory in 1898-99." (Incidentally, this is the only
photograph I found.)
"The Life of John Cunningham McLennan"
University of Toronto Physics
3) Roughly the extent to which he was an important figure in the
development of relativity theory, both before Einstein's 1905 papers
(if at all) and after. (It's evident from a simple Google search that
he wrote a couple of books on the subject in 1914 and later.) I do
not need deep physics for this, but rather the rough extent to which
he should be regarded as an important figure in the field (or whether
instead his ideas wound up being unimportant to the mainstream of
thought about relativity), and a qualitative description of his main
Since he finished his dissertation in 1904, I don't think he would be
considered an important figure in the development of relativity theory
before 1905. After 1905, it seems that he is considered a figure of
some importance -- not preeminent, but not to be ignored. I don't
pretend to understand his ideas in any detail, but I can say he was
significant in the development of views on space-time. It appears
that he was essentially a support of relativity, yet critical of
"Minkowski Spacetime and the Dimensions of the Present," by Richard T.
W. Arthur [see especially pp. 18-21]
"Is Simultaneity Conventional Despite Malament's Result?", by Robert Rynasiewicz
(Department of Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University, 2001) [p. 2]
See also "Alfred A. Robb's optical geometry" in "The non-Euclidean
style of Minkowskian relativity," cited above.
4) Anything else he has done that is particularly noteworthy, and/or
major awards he has received.
He became a fellow of the Royal Society in 1921.
6) Any further details on the songs that he wrote about physics and
the important figures of physics. I'm aware that he wrote several for
the annual dinners of the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge, and I
have the lyrics for these, but I would be _very_ interested in any
further details, or songs that he wrote beyond those in "The
Postprandial Proceedings of the Cavendish Society".
I don't know whether the following two poems are in "The Postprandial
Proceedings of the Cavendish Society." However, I thought I should
mention them in case they are not in that publication.
"Poetry Connections" (last updated 16 May, 2004) [under Chapter 2]
Unifying the Universe
"Einstein:: The Life and Times," by Ronald W. Clark [pp. 302-03]
7) Any amusing anecdotes about him.
I suppose that this would qualify as an amusing anecdote:
"The Philosophy of Logical Atomism and Other Essays, 1914-19
(Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell), by Bertrand Russell" [p. 334]
Search strategy --
Searched on Google Web, Scholar, and Print, and on A9, for variations
on Robb's name. (You can find more material by doing likewise. On
Google services, you might search for: "alfred a robb" OR "alfred
arthur robb" OR "robb alfred a" OR "robb alfred arthur" OR "aa robb"
OR "robb aa".)