Papers of William Cochrane, 1910-1972; medical physicist

Scope and Content

As an undergraduate and graduate at the University of Glasgow, William Cochrane kept a very full record of the lectures he attended and the class or laboratory exercises he performed, with dates, and usually the names of the professors and lecturers concerned. These provide a useful account of the courses offered and the education available at the time. There are similar full notes of courses attended and of lectures given by Cochrane on radar during the 1939-1945 World War. Substantial but less well-ordered notes survive for lectures at Imperial College, London, before and after the war, and for his period at St Thomas's. The correspondence is slight but includes some letters from M. von Laue, 1936-1937.

  • Biographical and personal papers, 1932-1959;
  • School notebooks, 1921-1925;
  • Glasgow University lecture notes, 1926-1943;
  • Imperial College notes, 1934-1957;
  • War service records, 1940-1945;
  • St Thomas' Hospital records, 1971;
  • Publications and broadcasts, 1947-1964;
  • Correspondence, 1936-1961.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Cochrane was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1910. He was and educated at Hyndland School, Glasgow, and went onto study at the University of Glasgow graduating MA in 1930, BSc in 1931 and PhD in 1935. He became a demonstrator and then lecturer at Imperial College of Science & Technology, London, 1934-1939. During the 1939-1945 World War he worked on radar at various research establishments, mainly the Telecommunications Research Establishment at Malvern, Worcestershire, England. He returned to Imperial College after the war and in 1952 became head of the Department of Physics, St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, London. He died in 1972.


By section as follows: Biographical and personal, School notebooks, Glasgow University, Imperial College, War service, St Thomas' Hospital, Publications and broadcasts, Correspondence. Index of individuals, organisations and firms.

Access Information

Access to records within this collection is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

Loan : Mrs Cherry Cochrane : 1975

Department of Physics, Imperial college, London (Additional Deposit)

Other Finding Aids

See also University of Glasgow Collections

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at NCUACS, University of Bath (CSAC 26/3/75) and the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)2802) and London (NRA19168)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to Archives and Special Collections, please email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with the standards of the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, University of Bath

Custodial History

The majority of this collection was received from the creator's wife via the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre, Oxford


None expected

Related Material

No related material

Location of Originals

This material is original