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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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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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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

Article

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

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Maker: W. & D. Downey

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

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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...

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Peter Barlow (1776–1862) by Samuel Cousins (after Sir William Boxall, exh. RA 1853) © National Portrait Gallery, London

Article

A. M. Clerke

revised by Iwan Rhys Morus

Barlow, Peter (1776–1862), mathematician and physicist, was born in the parish of St Simon, Norwich, in October 1776. Details of his early life are sparse. He was educated at a local foundation school before starting work in trade; later he became a schoolmaster, and, having by his own exertions attained considerable scientific knowledge, he became a regular correspondent of the ...

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Barrett, Sir William Fletcher (1844–1925), physicist and psychical researcher, was born in Jamaica on 10 February 1844, the son of a Congregational minister, the Revd William Garland Barrett (1812–1865), missionary for the London Missionary Society, and his wife, Martha Barrett, née Fletcher (1811?–1893)...

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Batchelor, George Keith (1920–2000), fluid dynamicist, was born on 8 March 1920 in Melbourne, Australia, the elder child of George Conybere Batchelor (b. 1897), an electrician and warehouseman, and Ivy Constance Berneye (1899–1943). He had one sister, Doris Ivy (b. 1928)...