Papers and correspondence of Albert Freedman, physicist.

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The material is presented in the order given below.

Section A, Biographical, contains a very small amount of material relating to various aspects of Freedman's professional career.

Section B, Research, is the largest section in the catalogue and constitutes a fairly comprehensive representation of Freedman's scientific work. A series of titled folders containing a selection of research notes on a variety of topics, ranging from acoustic array investigations and bi-static scattering to lamb modes and transducer theory, documents Freedman's professional and private research interests from 1949 to 1996. Some material relating to Freedman's research work for papers submitted to scientific journals appears in this section. Plots and computer printout relating to Freedman's work during the 1980s on programmes for acoustic modelling is also presented here.

Section C, Publications, mainly comprises a chronological sequence of Freedman's published scientific papers, 1948-1996. It contains working papers and drafts as well as a small amount of correspondence with publishers. Material relating to Freedman's unfinished and unpublished books is also presented here.

Section D, Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment (AUWE), contains material from between 1944 and 1994 relating to Freedman's period of employment by the organisation. It comprises a series of formal AUWE reports authored by Freedman with associated working papers and drafts, a selection of lecture notes relating to courses attended at the South Dorset Technical College, Weymouth and a small amount of administrative correspondence.

Section E, Visits and conferences, is composed of correspondence and papers relating to conferences and meetings attended by Freedman between 1956 and 1983. Freedman contributed a talk or discussion paper to some of these conferences, most of which took place in the UK. The section also includes material concerning several events in the USA attended by Freedman during his time as an exchange scientist based in San Diego, California.

Section F, Societies and organisations, contains a small amount of material relating to nine scientific and academic bodies, including the Council for National Academic Awards, the Acoustical Society of America and the Leverhulme Trust, with which Freedman was connected. It includes correspondence and papers documenting research projects undertaken by Freedman in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics, University of Dundee.

Section G, Correspondence, comprises material covering the period 1949 to 2001 and documents a range of work and research-related topics. It includes correspondence relating to proposed study visits within the UK and abroad and to Freedman's collaborative work with staff at the University of Salford on the design and development of computer programmes for acoustic modelling.

There is also an index of correspondents.

Administrative / Biographical History

Albert Freedman was born on 26 July 1916 in London. He received part of his early education in Fontainebleau, France and Basel, Switzerland but returned to England in 1933 to enrol at Regent Street Polytechnic, London. After attending a course of evening classes, he graduated with a BSc in Physics and Maths from London University in 1940 and was awarded a PhD for his work on echo formation in fluids by the same institution in 1962.

Between 1936 and 1938 Freedman worked in the research department of The Gramophone Company, now Electric and Musical Industries (EMI), based in Hayes, Middlesex, on the development of fluorescent screens for cathode ray tubes. In 1940 he moved to Portsmouth to take up a position with the Naval Establishment as a research assistant on HMS Vernon where he contributed to work relating to searchlight technology used in the defence of naval convoys. The following year Freedman joined the Underwater Detection Establishment, which later became the Admiralty Underwater Weapons Establishment (AUWE), in Portland, Dorset. In 1966 he was appointed Principal Scientific Officer. He stayed with the organisation for over thirty-five years until his retirement.

A fluent speaker of French and German, Freedman was sent, in 1945, as a naval intelligence officer to assess recently captured Nazi scientific research facilities in the Netherlands. Some of Freedman's work on this assignment remains classified.

Freedman's work at the AUWE was varied and involved both theory and application. His interests included the design of electro-magnetic equipment, shock and vibration protection, radiator fields, effects of baffles and layers, the measurement of echoes, and scattering and radiation processes. He was a pioneer in the use of computers for physics research and worked on the implementation of a number of specially developed early computer programmes. Freedman spent 1964/1965 as an exchange scientist with the Transducer Division at the US Navy Electronic Laboratory in San Diego, California, USA, where his research focussed on the problems associated with transducer array and signal processing.

After his retirement in 1977, Freedman continued his theoretical research work privately, concentrating particularly on aspects of interaction of plates with incident acoustic fields. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Acoustics. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Sound and Vibration for seventeen years and regularly refereed papers submitted for publication in Acustica, the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and Transactions of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Conditions Governing Access

Not all the material in this collection may yet be available for consultation. Enquiries should be addressed in the first instance to: The Archivist The Library University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY


Telephone: +44 (0)1225 383464

Acquisition Information

The papers were received in July 2003 and July 2004 from Dr Freedman and the Freedman family.

We are very grateful to the Freedman family, Dr Philippe Blondel and Dr Olga Gomez for their assistance in making this material available.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the collection is available online in PDF format.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Lizzie Richmond, Library and Learning Centre, University of Bath, 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications should be made to the University Archivist.

Custodial History

Catalogued by Lizzie Richmond, Library and Learning Centre, University of Bath, in conjunction with The National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists (NCUACS), Library and Learning Centre, University of Bath, 2005.

NCUACS catalogue no. 137/2/05


A small amount of supplemental material (Sections A, C and E) was added to the Collection in April 2014.