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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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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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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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Lionel Smith Beale (1828–1906) by Henry Tanworth Wells, 1876 by permission of the Royal College of Physicians, London; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Beale, Lionel Smith (1828–1906), physician and microscopist, was born on 5 February 1828 at Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London, the only son of Lionel John Beale (1796–1871), surgeon and first medical officer of health for St Martin-in-the-Fields, and Frances Smith Beale (1800–1849), the third daughter of ...

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Beaufoy, Mark (1764–1827), astronomer and physicist, was born in the house attached to his father's vinegar brewery at Cuper's Bridge, Lambeth, Surrey, on 4 March 1764, the third and youngest son of Mark Beaufoy (1718–1782), and his wife, Elizabeth (c.1720–1772). Mark Beaufoy sen....

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(Thomas) Brooke Benjamin (1929–1995) by unknown photographer © Royal Society

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Benjamin, (Thomas) Brooke (1929–1995), mathematician and physicist, was born on 15 April 1929 at 5 The Laund, Wallasey, Cheshire, the eldest of the three children of Thomas Joseph Benjamin (1884–1960), solicitor and high-court registrar, and his wife, Ethel Mary (1900–1975), daughter of Henry Brooke...

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Bidwell, Shelford (1848–1909), physicist and developer of telephotography, was born on 6 March 1848 at Thetford, Norfolk, the eldest son of Shelford Clarke Bidwell, brewer, of Thetford, who was married to his cousin Georgina, daughter of George Bidwell, rector of Stanton, Norfolk. Educated under the ...

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Boyd, Sir Robert Lewis Fullarton (1922–2004), physicist and engineer, was born on 19 October 1922 at 5 Melbourne Terrace, Saltcoats, Ayrshire, the elder of twin sons of William John Boyd, a works chemist, and his wife, Dorothy Jane, née Sibthorpe. Two years after his birth the family moved to ...

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Sir Charles Vernon Boys (1855–1944) by John Collier, 1915 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Boys, Sir Charles Vernon (1855–1944), physicist and inventor, was born at the rectory, Wing, Uppingham, Rutland, on 15 March 1855, the eighth child of five sons and four daughters of the rector, Charles Boys, and his wife, Caroline Goodrich Dobbie.

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Sir William Henry Bragg (1862–1942) by Randolph Schwabe, 1932 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bragg, Sir William Henry (1862–1942), physicist, was born at Westward, near Wigton in Cumberland, on 2 July 1862, the eldest of the three sons of Robert John Bragg (1830–1885), a merchant navy officer who became a farmer at Stoneraise Place, Westward. His mother, ...

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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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Callendar, Hugh Longbourne (1863–1930), physicist, was born on 18 April 1863 at Hatherop, Gloucestershire, the eldest son of Hugh Callendar, rector of Hatherop, and his wife, Anne (Annie) Cecilia Longbourne. From Marlborough College, where he ranked top in classics and mathematics and excelled at sports, he entered ...

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A. M. Clerke

revised by David B. Wilson

Challis, James (1803–1882), astronomer and physicist, was born on 12 December 1803 at Braintree, Essex, the fourth son of John Challis, a stonemason. After attending Braintree School, the Revd Daniel Copsey's school, Braintree, and Mill Hill School, Mill Hill, Middlesex, Challis matriculated at ...

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Clifton, Robert Bellamy (1836–1921), physicist, was born at Gedney in Lincolnshire on 13 March 1836, the only son of Robert Clifton, a landowner, and his wife, Frances Gibbons. After schooling in Peterborough and Brighton he studied at University College, London, and in 1855 entered ...