File: "The Blackett-Eckersley-Lovell correspondence of World War II and the origin of Jodrell Bank"

Scope and Content

Lovell wrote an article "The Blackett-Eckersley-Lovell correspondence of World War II and the origin of Jodrell Bank" in Notes and Records of the Royal Society (47(1) 1993 (copy present). It concerns a response by T L Eckersley to a paper by Blackett and Lovell "Radio echoes and cosmic ray showers" in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, 177, 10 January 1941. Blackett and Lovell reported research on cosmic ray showers, whose echoes had been detected by radar in the early part of the Second World War. Eckersley had pointed out the effects of a "damping factor" which affected their calculations. Lovell undertook experiments in 1946-7 to take account for these effects, and this . led to the development of the 218ft transient telescope at Jodrell Bank which was used to detect radio wave scattering from ionization created by large cosmic ray showers.

Folder 1 consists of papers relating to the publication of the article.

Folder 2 includes original material such as Eckersley's letter to Blackett, 12 March 1941 concerning the Royal Society article. Also present are calculations in Lovell's hand, dated June 1945; a letter from John Wilson to Lovell, 3 Oct [1940] concerning their work on cosmic rays ; a reprint of their article "Investigation of cosmic ray showers of atmospheric origin using two cloud chambers" (Nature 144 18 Nov 1939 and a cutting; letters between Blackett and Lovell, Feb-Sep 1940 concerning their research; a draft of the RS article in Lovell's hand, and a typescript "Correlation of cosmic ray showers with sporadic atmospheric phenomena".

Folder 3 Includes report by Lovell "Report on the present state and results of radar experiments to June 21st 1946" (in envelope), "New calculations of radio echoes from showers" a note by Lovell in 1986 dates this document to May 1946, "Radio reflections from cosmic ray showers" 1986 "Almost certainly 1946"; Notes on diffraction theory and early shower calculations- September 1945" (in folder ) and originals of 1946 and 1947 calculations of radio echoes form cosmic ray showers (Lovell's 1986 note includes"notes on the projected 200-250 ft aperture paraboloid" "probably Nov/Dec 1949".


Arrangement follows Lovell's arrangement in the 1990s.