Physics and Astrophysics at the Imperial College


DURING the past hundred years, the Colleges now amalgamated in the Imperial College of Science and Technology have been prominently associated with both the dissemination and the acquisition of knowledge in the physical sciences. The Royal School of Mines numbers among its professors of physics men like Stokes (1854–60) and Tyndall (1860–68), whose names stand in the forefront of Victorian physics and whose influence on their students, less easy to appraise than their personal contributions to research, was no less important in the maintenance and development of physical science on both its theoretical and practical sides. Tyndall was succeeded by Guthrie (1868–86), whose creation of the Physical Society of London (now the Physical Society, one of the most active and influential scientific societies in the country) in 1873 places him among the greatest benefactors whom this department of science has known. The Society, which at first met in Guthrie's rooms at South Kensington, later met regularly at the Royal College of Science and still continues frequently to do so. Its membership has a steady source of supply in the graduates of the College, and the association indeed is so intimate that there is scarcely an activity of the Society in which the College cannot claim some measure of participation.


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DINGLE, H. Physics and Astrophysics at the Imperial College. Nature 156, 562–564 (1945).

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