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Adams, Sir John Bertram (1920–1984), physicist and scientific administrator, was born on 24 May 1920 at 105 Canbury Park Road, Kingston, Surrey, the only son and younger child of John Albert Adams (c.1890–c.1964) and his wife, Sarah Ethel Emily Searles (1890–...

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Allen, (Herbert) Stanley (1873–1954), physicist, was born at Turf Street, Bodmin, Cornwall, on 29 December 1873, the fifth son of Richard Allen, Wesleyan minister in Bodmin, and his wife, Emma Johnson. In 1886 he went to Kingswood School, Bath, where he gained several scholarships and became senior prefect. In 1893 he entered ...

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Allen, John Frank [Jack] (1908–2001), physicist, was born in Winnipeg, Canada, on 6 May 1908, the elder of two sons and the second of three children of Frank Allen (1874–1965), a physicist, and his wife, Sarah Estelle Harper (d. 1915). John, or Jack...

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Allen, Norman Percy (1903–1972), metallurgist, was born in Wrexham, north Wales, on 5 June 1903, the fifth of ten children, seven girls and three boys, of Sidney Edward Allen, an accountant in the borough treasurer's department at Wrexham, and his wife, Emily Eliza Davis...

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Thomas Edward Allibone (1903–2003) by Elliott & Fry, 1958 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Allibone, Thomas Edward [Ted] (1903–2003), physicist and electrical engineer, was born on 11 November 1903 at 10 Melbourne Road, Nether Hallam, Sheffield, the son of Henry James Allibone, schoolteacher, and his wife, Eliza, née Kidger, a farmer's daughter. He was educated at the ...

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Andrade, Edward Neville da Costa (1887–1971), physicist, was born on 27 December 1887, in London, the second child in the family of four sons and one daughter of Henry da Costa Andrade, solicitor, and his wife, Amy Eliza Davis. In 1897 he went to ...

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Andrews, Thomas (1847–1907), metallurgist and ironmaster, was born at 19 Carver Street, Sheffield, on 16 February 1847, the only son of Thomas Andrews and his wife, Mary Bolsover. Thomas Andrews senior was a partner in the Wortley ironworks and the Wortley Silkstone colliery...

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Sir Edward Victor Appleton (1892–1965) by Howard Coster, 1940s © National Portrait Gallery, London

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J. A. Ratcliffe

revised by Roger Hutchins

Appleton, Sir Edward Victor (1892–1965), physicist, was born in Maperton Road, Bradford, Yorkshire, on 6 September 1892, the eldest child of Peter Appleton, of Eccleshill, Bradford, a warehouse clerk on the staff of Charles Senior & Co., and his wife, Mary Wilcock.

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Astbury, William Thomas (1898–1961), physicist and molecular biologist, was born on 25 February 1898 at Longton, Staffordshire, the fourth of seven children and the eldest son of William Edwin Astbury, potter's turner, of Longton, and his wife, Clara Dean. Astbury was educated at ...

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Francis William Aston (1877–1945) by Walter Stoneman, 1943 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Norman Feather

revised by Peter Osborne

Aston, Francis William (1877–1945), physicist, was born at Church Lane, Harborne, near Birmingham on 1 September 1877, the third of the seven children of William Aston, gun manufacturer, and his wife, Fanny Charlotte, daughter of Isaac Hollis, a gunmaker. From Harborne vicarage school...

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Atkinson, Stephen (fl. 1586–1619), metallurgist, whose early life is not documented, was a native of London. After serving an apprenticeship to Francis Tiver, a refiner of gold and silver, he was admitted a finer in the Tower of London mint about 1586. After a year spent working at the ...

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Austen, Sir William Chandler Roberts- (1843–1902), metallurgist, was born at Kennington, Surrey, on 3 March 1843, the eldest son of George Roberts, of Welsh descent, who worked for the Hudson's Bay Company, and his wife, Maria Louisa, daughter of William Chandler MD of ...

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William Edward Ayrton (1847–1908) by W. & D. Downey, pubd 1893 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ayrton, William Edward (1847–1908), electrical engineer and physicist, was born in London on 14 September 1847 to the accomplished barrister and linguist Edward Nugent Ayrton (1815–1873), and his wife, thereby joining a family long connected with law and music, and traditionally supportive of women's rights. ...

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Philip John Noel- Baker, Baron Noel-Baker (1889–1982) by Howard Coster, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Baker, Philip John Noel-, Baron Noel-Baker (1889–1982), politician and Nobel prizewinner, was born Philip John Baker at Woodstock, Brondesbury Park, London, on 1 November 1889, the sixth and penultimate child of (Joseph) Allen Baker (1852–1918) and his wife, Elizabeth Balmer Moscrip. His father had moved to ...

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Barkla, Charles Glover (1877–1944), physicist, was born at Albert Road, Widnes, Lancashire, on 7 June 1877, second son of John Martin Barkla, a Cornishman and secretary of the Atlas Chemical Company. His mother, Sarah Glover, came from Prescot. Barkla attended the Liverpool Mechanics' Institution...