Burhop Papers

Scope and Content

Papers and correspondence, 1948-1980, of Eric Henry Stoneley Burhop, relating to his interests outside his scientific research. The collection comprises biographical material on Burhop's interest in furthering rapprochement between East and West, principally relating to the 'passport case' when, owing to Burhop's involvement in the atomic energy project in 1944-1945, the Foreign Office withdrew his passport on the eve of a visit to the Soviet Union in 1951, causing a libel case arising from his treatment by the press; papers relating to the award of the Lenin Peace Prize to Burhop in 1972; correspondence on the possible nomination of Bertrand Russell for the World Peace Council's International Peace Prize, 1957; and documentation of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, largely the first conference of 1957, including the role of the World Federation of Scientific Workers in its organisation, and manuscript notes of the proceedings. There are no records of his scientific research or scientific correspondence.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born in Hobart, Tasmania, the son of Salvation Army officers, 1911; educated at Ballarat and Melbourne High Schools; entered Melbourne University, where he came to specialise in physics, 1928; graduated with first class honours, 1931; took an MSc in physics; went to the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, on an Exhibition of 1851 Overseas Scholarship, 1933; carried out experimental research in nuclear physics with Ernest Rutherford; returned to Melbourne as Research Physicist and Lecturer, 1935; during the Second World War, undertook war-related research in Melbourne and Sydney; Deputy Director, Radio Research Laboratory, Melbourne, 1942-1944; joined the British team working on the atomic bomb project in the USA, working on isotope separation in the group led by H S W Massey, 1944; Technical Officer, DSIR Mission to Berkeley, California, 1944-1945; Lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at University College London, 1945; appointed Reader, 1949; transferred to the Physics Department as Reader, 1950; Professor of Physics, 1960-1978; researched widely in atomic and nuclear physics, including the Auger effect and electronic and ionic impact phenomena; a founder member of the European K meson collaboration and prominent in the UCL Bubble Chamber group; strongly committed to the political left and sought rapprochement between the Soviet bloc and the West during the Cold War; with Bertrand Russell, C F Powell and J Rotblat, played an important role in the organisation of the first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs at Pugwash, Nova Scotia, which brought together senior scientists from East and West to discuss the dangers of nuclear war, Jul 1957; the conference provided the model for a series of similarly organised Pugwash conferences on this and related topics; elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1963; awarded the Joliot-Curie Medal of the World Peace Council, 1966; active in the work of the World Federation of Scientific Workers, of which he was President from 1971; awarded the Lenin International Peace Prize, 1972; Emeritus Professor of University College London, 1978; died, 1980. See Sir Harrie Massey & D H Davies, '"Eric Henry Stoneley Burhop", 'Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society', vol xxvii (1981), pp 131-152. Publications: with Philip B Moon, 'Atomic Survey. A short guide to the scientific and political problems of atomic energy' [Birmingham, 1947]; with John Halsted, 'The Challenge of Atomic Energy' (Lawrence & Wishart, London, 1951); with Sir Harrie Stewart Wilson Massey, 'Electronic and Ionic Impact Phenomena' (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1952); 'The Auger Effect and other radiationless transitions' (University Press, Cambridge, 1952); 'The Techniques of High Energy Physics ... An inaugural lecture delivered at University College, London, 23 January 1961' (published for the College by H K Lewis & Co, London, 1961); as editor, 'High energy physics' (5 volumes, 1967-1972); with H S W Massey and H B Gilbody, 'Electronic and ionic impact phenomena' (1969-1974); as editor, 'Selected papers of Cecil Frank Powell' (1972); 'The social future of science' [1975].


By section as follows: Biographical (Ref: A); Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs (Ref: B).

Access Information


The papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to Archives and Manuscripts material, after the completion of a Reader's Undertaking.

Acquisition Information

Transferred to University College London from the NCUACS in 1993.

Other Finding Aids

Fully catalogue and detailed list available on the online catalogue.

Conditions Governing Use

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Custodial History

Received for cataloguing by the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists (NCUACS), University of Bath, in March 1993 from Dr Brenda Swann.

Related Material

University College London Records Office holds files on Burhop (Ref: GO 1431/2,3, GO 1816/16).