Douglas Rayner Hartree: Calculations on Schubaurer's Ellipse

Scope and Content

Four folders of handwritten calculations, c. 1930s: Schubaurer's Ellipse - 0.2 to 0.4, 0.4 to 1.0, 1.0 to 1.8, and 1.8 to 2.0.

Loose items: a letter from L.J. Comrie to Hartree, 17 September 1937, discussing a calculation; a letter from Bertha Jeffreys, Lady Jeffreys, to A.E.B. Owen, 5 December 1986, forwarding a letter from Prof. L. Howarth of Bristol, confirming that the papers were likely to be those of Hartree, and citing his publications on these experiments.

Administrative / Biographical History

Douglas Rayner Hartree (1897-1958), scientist, was born on 27 March 1897 in Cambridge, and educated at Bedales School. In 1915 he entered St John's College, Cambridge, but after a year abandoned his studies to work in a team developing the new science of anti-aircraft gunnery. After the First World War he completed his university courses, and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1926. He was elected fellow of St John's (1924-1927) and of Christ's College (1928-1929), before being appointed to the chair of applied mathematics (1929-1937) and of theoretical physics (1937-1945) at the University of Manchester. In 1946 he became Plummer professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge, a chair which he held until his death, and was again a fellow of Christ's. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1932.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, 1980.


The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on Hartree in E.T. Williams and Helen M. Palmer, eds., Dictionary of national biography, 1951-1960, pp. 463-464 (Oxford University Press, 1971).

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.