Herbert Watson: Notes on J.J. Thomson's lectures

Scope and Content

Notes on lectures given by J.J. Thomson on a wide range of subjects. There are ninety-one numbered pages; the rest of the volume is unused. At the front are two letters concerning the collection: from H.E. Watson to Professor N.F. Mott, Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, 19 September 1961, and an unsigned letter to Watson, 13 August 1962.

Administrative / Biographical History

Herbert Edmeston Watson (1886-1980) was born on 17 May 1886, and educated at Marlborough College and in London, Berlin, Geneva and Cambridge. He worked at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, as assistant professor, 1911-1916, and Professor of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, 1916-1934. He was Professor of Chemical Engineering, University College London, 1934-1951, and Emeritus Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of London. Watson invented the neon glow lamp in 1911. He died on 24 September 1980.

Joseph John Thomson (1856-1940), physicist, was born at Cheetham Hill, near Manchester, on 18 December 1856. He attended Owens College, Manchester, and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he was elected a Fellow in 1881, and was Master, 1918-1940. He was Cavendish Professor of Experimental Physics, Cambridge, 1894-1919, and Professor of Natural Philosophy at the Royal Institution, 1905-1920. Thomson was responsible for the discovery of the electron. He was knighted in 1908, and died in Cambridge on 30 August 1940.

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, 1976.



Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on H.E. Watson in Who was who, vol. VII, 1971-1980 (London, 1981), pp. 836-837, and the entry on J.J. Thomson in L.G. Wickham Legg, ed., Dictionary of national biography, 1931-1940 (Oxford University Press, 1949), pp. 857-863.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds correspondence and papers of J.J. Thomson, MS.Add.7654.

Corporate Names