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Sir (William) Lawrence Bragg (1890–1971) by Elliott & Fry © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bragg, Sir (William) Lawrence (1890–1971), physicist and crystallographer, was born on 31 March 1890 at 58/60 Lefevre Terrace, Adelaide, Australia, the elder son (the younger, Robert, was killed at Gallipoli in 1915) and eldest of the three children of Sir William Henry Bragg (1862–1942)...

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Robert Wolfgang Cahn (1924–2007) by Godfrey Argent, 1992 © Godfrey Argent Studio

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Cahn, Robert Wolfgang (1924–2007), materials scientist, was born on 9 September 1924 in Fürth, Bavaria, the first of two children of Martin Cahn (1896–1963), accountant and merchant, and his wife, Else, née Heinemann (1896–1962). His family was Jewish, assimilated into the business community. His maternal grandfather, ...

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Sir James Dewar (1842–1923) by Alexander Scott or Ethel Glazebrook, 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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H. M. Ross

revised by Trevor I. Williams

Dewar, Sir James (1842–1923), chemist and physicist, was born at Kincardine-on-Forth, Scotland, on 20 September 1842, the youngest son of Thomas Dewar, vintner, and his wife, Ann Eadie, daughter of a shipowner. At the age of ten his schooling was interrupted by an attack of rheumatic fever, and during the period of incapacity that followed he occupied himself in making fiddles—an exercise to which he was wont to attribute his manipulative skill. On recovering he was sent to ...

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Graeme J. N. Gooday and Colin A. Hempstead

Foster, George Carey (1835–1919), chemist and physicist, was born in October 1835 at Sabden in Lancashire, the only son of George Foster, calico printer and justice of the peace in Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. After education at private schools Foster...

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Guggenheim, Edward Armand (1901–1970), physical chemist, physicist, and statistician, was born on 11 August 1901 in Manchester, the elder son of the family of three children of Armand Guggenheim, a senior partner in E. Spinner & Co., importers of cotton and exporters of cotton cloth, and his wife, ...

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Guthrie, Frederick (1833–1886), chemist and physicist, was born on 15 October 1833 in Bayswater, London, youngest of the six children of Alexander Guthrie (1800-1858), a master tailor and draper in New Bond Street, and his wife Kitty née Thompson (1791-1869...

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Jones, Sir John Edward Lennard- (1894–1954), theoretical chemist and physicist, was born John Edward Jones on 27 October 1894 at Leigh, Lancashire, the eldest son of Hugh Jones, insurance agent, and his wife, Mary Ellen. He was educated at Leigh grammar school, where he specialized in classics, and at ...

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P. J. Hartog

revised by Anita McConnell

Matthiessen, Augustus (1831–1870), chemist and physicist, was born in London on 2 January 1831, the son of William Matthiessen and his wife, Jane. His father, who died while Matthiessen was quite young, was a merchant. A paralytic seizure during infancy produced a permanent and severe twitching of ...

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Sykes, Sir Charles (1905–1982), physicist and metallurgist, was born on 27 February 1905 in Clowne, Derbyshire, the only child of Sam Sykes, greengrocer, and his wife, Louisa Webster. With a county scholarship he went to the Staveley Netherthorpe grammar school, travelling 5 miles...

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Sir Richard Threlfall (1861–1932) by Walter Stoneman, 1920 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Threlfall, Sir Richard (1861–1932), physicist and chemical engineer, was born at Hollowforth, Woodplumpton, near Preston, Lancashire, on 14 August 1861, the eldest son of Richard Threlfall (1804–1870), of Hollowforth, wine merchant and sometime mayor of Preston, and his second wife, Sarah Jane Mason (...

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Waterston, John James (1811–1883), physicist and physical chemist, was born in 1811 in Edinburgh, the sixth of nine children, at least five of them sons, of George Waterston, a manufacturer of sealing-wax and stationery requisites, of Edinburgh, and his wife, Jane Blair of ...

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Wollaston, William Hyde (1766–1828), chemist, physicist, and physiologist, was born on 6 August 1766 at East Dereham vicarage, Norfolk, the third child of the seven sons and ten daughters of Francis Wollaston (1731–1815), vicar at East Dereham, and his wife, Althea (1739–1798), fifth daughter of ...