E J Williams Papers

Scope and Content

The archive contains research notes compiled by E J Williams; correspondence, mainly professional in content; offprints of papers written by Williams, along with some manuscript and typescript drafts; the glass plates from which Williams studied, and a small group of papers relating to the work of the Physics Department, University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

Administrative / Biographical History

Evan James Williams was born on August 8th 1903, in Cwmsychpant near Llanybydder, Carmarthenshire. He received his education at Llandysul County School. Although a talented writer, winning several competitions in local eisteddfodau for his literary compositions, his main interest was science. In 1919 he won a scholarship to study at Swansea Technical College, which became the University of Wales, Swansea the following year.

He left Swansea with his MSc in 1924, and went on to work with Professor W L Bragg at the University of Manchester. His research there earned him his PhD. He then attended Cambridge University as an 1851 Exhibition student, receiving a PhD in 1929. This was added to by a DSc Wales the following year.

Williams continued his academic research, spending 1933 at the Niels Bohr Institute of Physics in Copenhagen. On his return, he became an Assistant Lecturer at the University of Manchester, followed by a period as Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool. In 1938, he was offered the Chair of Physics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he would remain until his death in 1945.

Williams was made FRS in 1939. During the Second World War, he served in the Air Ministry and Admiralty. Primarily known as the discoverer of pi-meson decay, he published over thirty academic works, bringing a semi-classical approach to modern physics.

Access Information

The papers may be consulted through application by e-mail to: archives@aber.ac.uk or by post to: Aberystwyth University, Archives, Information Services, Llandinam Building, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DB. Tel: 01970 628593.


Description compiled by Rhian Phillips, Archives Hub project archivist, with reference to the E J Williams Papers.

Other Finding Aids

Basic finding aid available on request from Archives staff.

Related Material

The University of Wales, Aberystwyth Department of Physics Archive is also held by the University, as are the archives of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth Physics Society, and former Aberystwyth physicist, D A Richards.