Department of Physics

Scope and Content

Papers relating to the administration of the Department of Physics, which is one of the oldest and most prestigious in the University. The Department was headed by the Langworthy Professor of Physics, a post held during the period covered by this file by Patrick Blackett (1937-1953), Samuel Devons (1955-1960) and Brian Flowers (1961-1971).

The file comprises routine papers on staffing and the funding of major research projects by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, and later by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, and the Science Research Council. Among the projects covered are: the early development of the radio telescopes at Jodrell Bank [the file does not cover the administration of the Department of Radio Astronomy]; the Jungfraujoch station for cosmic ray research in the early 1950s; the purchase of a Van der Graaf generator in 1955; and the controversial project to set up a heavy ion linear accelerator in the late 1950s. The routine administration of this linear accelerator in the 1960s is also covered (folder 10), as are the Department's links with the Nuclear Structure Laboratory at Daresbury, Cheshire. Folder 11 contains papers relating to the Department's Stellar Inferometer project. Folder 9 is a discrete set of documents relating to proposals in 1946/7 to establish a new chair of bio-physics. This project was abandoned when a suitable candidate for the post was not found.

Former reference: 41

Conditions Governing Access

Access restrictions apply to parts of this file; consult the archivist for further details.

Related Material

VCA/7/71 covers the Department between 1933-1949, and VCA/7/623 the period between 1970-1982. The University Archives also has custody of the Department's archive (  DPH.