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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

G. P. Thomson

Photo

Dates

May 3, 1892 – September 10, 1975

Authorized Form of Name

Thomson, G. P. (George Paget), 1892-1975

Additional Forms of Names

Thomson, George, 1892-1975

Thomson, George Paget

Thomson, George Paget, Sir, 1892-1975

Biography

Abstract

Sir George Paget Thomson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1937 with Clinton Davisson, "for their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals." Throughout his career, he held positions at Cavendish Laboratory, University of Aberdeen, Imperial College, and Corpus Christi College. Son of Nobel Prize winner J. J. Thomson, he was held in high esteem and made Scientific Advisor to the Air Ministry, Scientific Liaison Officer to the British Scientific Office in Canada, and Chairman of the Maud Committee which researched the plausibility of atomic bombs.

Important Dates

May 3, 1892Birth, Cambridge (England).

1913Obtained degree in mathematics and physics, Trinity College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (England).

1913 – 1914Researcher under his father J. J. Thomson, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (England).

1914 – 1918Joined the Queen's Regiment Infantry during World War I.

1919Returned to researcher position, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (England).

1922Professor of Natural Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen (Scotland),.

1929 – 1930Non-resident Lecturer, Cornell University, Ithaca (N.Y.).

1930Fellow, Royal Society.

1930 – 1952Chair of Physics, Imperial College, University of London, London (England).

1937Awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics with Clinton Davisson "for their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals".

1940Chairman of the MAUD Committee, which investigated the possibility of the atomic bomb.

1941MAUD Committee reported that atomic bomb is possible, shared conclusions with American scientists.

1942Scientific Liaison Officer, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa (Ont.).

1943Returned to England as Scientific Advisor to the Air Ministry.

1943Knighted.

1952 – 1962Master of Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (England).

September 10, 1975Death, Cambridge (England).

Occupation

Quantum physicist.

Places

Birth

Cambridge (England)

Undergraduate Education

Cambridge (England)

Graduate Education

Cambridge (England)

Employment

Cambridge (England)

Aberdeen (Scotland),

London (England)

Ottawa (Ont.)

Death

Cambridge (England)

Subjects

Atomic bomb.

Electron beams.

Electrons--Diffraction.

Nuclear physics.

Quantum physics.

Relationships

People

Family

Thomson, J. J. (Joseph John), 1856-1940

Father and advisor at Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge.

Thomson, Kathleen Buchanan

Spouse, married 1924.

Advisors & Collaborators

Blackett, P. M. S. (Patrick Maynard Stuart), Baron Blackett, 1897-1974

Collaborated on the MAUD Committee, lead by Thomson.

Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974

Thomson reported atomic bomb findings of MAUD committee to Conant and Bush.

Chadwick, James, 1891-1974

Collaborated on the MAUD Committee, lead by Thomson.

Cockcroft, John, Sir, 1897-1967

Collaborated on the MAUD Committee, lead by Thomson.

Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978

Thomson reported atomic bomb findings of MAUD committee to Conant and Bush.

Davisson, Clinton Joseph, 1881-1958

Shared the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physics "for their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals."

Moon, Philip Burton

Advised by Thomson at Imperial College; and collaborated on the MAUD Committee, lead by Thomson.

Oliphant, Mark, 1901-2000

Collaborated on the MAUD Committee, lead by Thomson.

Additional

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Born, Max, 1882-1970

Bragg, William Henry, 1862-1942

Bragg, William Lawrence, Sir, 1890-1971

Broglie, Louis de, 1892-1987

Chapman, Sydney, 1888-1970

Compton, K. T. (Karl Taylor), 1887-1954

Dirac, P. A. M. (Paul Adrien Maurice), 1902-1984

McCrea, William Hunter

Planck, Max, 1858-1947

Richardson, O. W. (Owen Willans), 1879-1959

Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937

Schrödinger, Erwin, 1887-1961

Institutions

Major Positions

Cavendish Laboratory (Cambridge, England)

Researcher.

Cornell University

Non-resident Lecturer.

Corpus Christi College (University of Cambridge)

Master.

Imperial College, London. Department of Physics

Chair of Physics.

National Research Council of Canada

Scientific Liaison Officer for the United Kingdom and Canada.

University of Aberdeen

Professor of Natural Philosophy.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

MAUD Committee, 1940-1941

Committee Chairman.

Royal Society (Great Britain)

Fellow.

Trinity College (University of Cambridge)

Received Mathematics and Physics degree (1913).

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

G. P. Thomson papers and correspondence, 1905-1977.

Library

Trinity College

Cambridge CB2 1TQ

O. W. Richardson papers, 1897-1959 (bulk 1920-1940).

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

University of Texas at Austin

P.O. Drawer 7219, Austin, TX 78713-7219, USA

Oral history interview with Sir George Paget Thomson, 1963 June 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Selected papers [sound recording], 1967.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Sir George Paget Thomson papers, 1939-1942.

Archives Centre

Churchill College

Cambridge CB3 0DS

The future sources of power [sound recording], 1958.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Oral history interview with William Hunter McCrea, 1978 September 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Sir William Lawrence Bragg papers.

Royal Institution of Great Britain

London, England UK

Sydney Chapman festschrift material [microform], 1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

Conduction of electricity through gases.

Diffraction des rayons cathodiques / par G.P. Thomson ... traduit de l'anglais par R. Frie

J. J. Thomson discoverer of the electron.

J.J. Thomson and the Cavendish Laboratory in his day.

The atom.

The foreseeable future.

The inspiration of science.

The wave mechanics of free electrons / by G.P. Thomson

Theory and practice of electron diffraction / by G. P. Thomson and W. Cochrane.

Subject

A history of the electron : J.J. and G.P. Thomson / Jaume Navarro, Ikerbasque research professor, Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea.

Sir George Thomson Nobel Prize biography.

Sir George Thomson Physics Today obituary.