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Notable figures from NMS

 

Professor John Frederic Daniell

daniell 

Professor John Frederic Daniell, (1790-1845)

Daniell was appointed as the first Professor of Chemistry at King's College London in 1831, and held this position from 1831-45.

Daniell's most important contribution to science was his development of one of the earliest types of battery — the Daniell constant cell. Daniell was awarded the Copley and Royal medals by the Royal Society for his contribution to the study of electricity and electrolysis.

Daniell remained at King's until 1845. In 1846 the Daniell Scholarship was founded in his honour.

 

Professor Sir Charles Wheatstone

Charles Wheatstone

Professor Sir Charles Wheatstone, (1802-75)

Wheatstone was Professor of Experimental Philosophy at King’s College London from 1834-75.

Whilst at King's, Wheatstone's two most notable achievements were inventing the stereoscope and perfecting a practical version of the electric telegraph.

Around 1830 Wheatstone began studying electricity and electromagnetism, at which stage his focus was in measuring the velocity of electricity. He joined King's in 1834 and, with the support of the Royal Society and the College Council, laid down a circuit of copper wiring in the basement of the building to refine his experimental data.

 

Professor James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell

Professor James Clerk Maxwell, (1831-79)

Maxwell was Professor of Natural Philosophy at King’s College London from 1860-65.

It was during his time at King's that Maxwell demonstrated that magnetism, electricity and light were different manifestations of the same fundamental laws. Maxwell made considerable contributions to the understanding of colour vision and colour photography and had considerable input in the following areas.

• The theory of rolling curves

• The composition of Saturn's rings

• The nature of gases

• Electrical measurements

The James Clerk Maxwell Building at the Waterloo Campus commemorates him, and a chair in Physics and a society for undergraduate physicists are named after him.

 

Professor John Milne

Professor John Milne, (1850-1913)

Milne was awarded the AKC in Applied Science from King's College London in 1870 — the university did not yet offer degrees.

After leaving King's, Milne continued his studies at the Royal School of Mines, London, and gained practical experience in the early 1870s in the mines of Cornwall and Lancashire. He went on to study Mineralogy at the University of Freiberg, Germany.

Milne moved to the Isle of Wight in 1895. It was from his observatory at Blackwater Road in Shide, that he gathered and examined earthquake information sent from around the world. Based on his studies of tremor data, Milne plotted the Pacific fault line known as the "Ring of Fire".

 

Professor Charles Barkla

Charles Barkla

 

Professor Charles Barkla, (1877-1944)

Barkla was Professor of Physics at King’s, 1909-13.

Barkla graduated with First Class Honours in Physics from Liverpool in 1898, and the following year obtained his Master's degree. From 1905 to 1909 he was demonstrator, assistant lecturer in physics and special lecturer in advanced electricity at the University of Liverpool. In 1909 he succeeded H. A. Wilson as Wheatstone Professor of Physics at King’s College London. In 1913, Barkla accepted the Chair in Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and he held this position until his death. In 1917, Barkla was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Barkla made important contributions to the understanding of the absorption and photographic action of X-rays.

 

Professor Sir Owen Richardson

Richardson 

Professor Sir Owen Richardson, (1879-1959),

Professor Sir Owen Richardson was Wheatstone Professor of Physics at King’s College London from 1914-24.

Professor Sir Owen Richardson was educated at Batley Grammar School, and went on to study at Cambridge in 1897, having obtained an Entrance Major Scholarship at Trinity College. He gained First Class Honours in Natural Science, with distinctions in Physics and Chemistry.

Richardson was appointed Professor of Physics at Princeton University, where he remained until the end of 1913. In 1911 he was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society, and in 1913 a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1914 he returned to England as Wheatstone Professor of Physics at King's College London.

Professor Sir Owen Richardson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics 1928.

 

Professor Sir Edward Appleton

Appleton 155x155  

Professor Sir Edward Appleton, (1892-1965)

Appleton was the Wheatstone Professor of Physics at King’s College London from 1924-36.

At the age of 18, Appleton won a scholarship to Cambridge where, in 1913, he received a First Class Degree in Natural Sciences. In 1924 Appleton was appointed Professor of Physics at King's, returning to Cambridge in 1936 to take the Chair of Natural Philosophy. In the latter part of 1924 Appleton began a series of experiments which proved the existence of that layer in the upper atmosphere now called the ionosphere.

Appleton was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1947, and in 1949 he moved to the University of Edinburgh to become Principal and Vice-Chancellor, a position he held for the rest of his life.

 

Professor Maurice Wilkins

Professor Maurice Wilkins (1916-2004)

Wilkins was Lecturer in Biophysics at King’s College London from 1958-1963 and Professor of Molecular Biology, 1963-1970.

Working together with Rosalind Franklin, Raymond Gosling, Alec Stokes, Herbert Wilson and other colleagues at the Randall Institute at King's College London, Professor Wilkins made considerable contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA in 1953.

In 1962, Maurice Wilkins was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine, together with Francis Crick and James Watson. In the same year, Wilkins was made Companion of the British Empire 

Sir Arthur C Clarke

Arthur Clarke

Sir Arthur C Clarke, (1917-2008)

Clarke graduated from King’s College London in 1948 with a BSc in Mathematics & Physics.

In 1964 Clarke started working on a science fiction script with film producer Stanley Kubrick. This collaboration led to the making of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was released in 1968. Clarke and Kubrick were nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for the film. 2001: A Space Odyssey, was adapted from Clarke's short story The Sentinel.

In 1964 Clarke started working on a science fiction script with film producer Stanley Kubrick. This collaboration led to the making of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was released in 1968. Clarke and Kubrick were nominated for the Best Original Screenplay Academy Award for the film. 2001: A Space Odyssey, was adapted from Clarke's short story The Sentinel.

One of Clarke's early novels, Prelude to Space, was written in 1947 while he was still at King’s. Sir Arthur wrote over 70 books.

 

Leon Mirsky

Leon Mirsky, (1918-83)

Mirsky graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in 1940 and MSc in 1941, both in Mathematics.

Mirsky was appointed to Sheffield University in 1942, and it was here that he was to spend most of his career. Mirsky' main areas of research include the following.

• The theory of numbers

• Linear algebra

 

 

Rosalind Franklin

 Rosalind-Franklin-155x155

Rosalind Franklin, (1920-1958)

Franklin was offered an ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) Fellowship at King's College London in 1950, which was taken up in January 1951.

It was in the Biophysics Department at King's that Rosalind Franklin and Raymond Gosling took the famous 'Photo 51', an X-ray diffraction image of DNA that ultimately led to the discovery of the double helix. It was working with single DNA fibres at very high humidity that Franklin was able to identify a differentiation between the A and B forms of DNA.

In 1953, Franklin moved to Birkbeck College London to join a team studying virus structures. Sadly, her life was cut short, as she developed cancer and died in 1958. 

Professor Peter Higgs

 

Peter Higgs

Professor Peter Higgs, (born 1929)

Higgs graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in Physics in 1950, an MSc in Physics in 1952 and a PhD in Physics in1954.

Higgs took up a post at the University of Edinburgh in 1954, and subsequently held fellowships there and at University College London and Imperial College before returning to Edinburgh as a Lecturer in 1960. He subsequently became a Reader, and in 1980, Professor of Theoretical Physics at Edinburgh. Since 1996 he has been Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh.

In 1964 Higgs, together with other theoretical physicists, discovered a way to give masses to elementary particles. This is now the basis for the standard model that successfully describes all the visible matter in the Universe. This theory required the existence of a new kind of particle, commonly called the Higgs boson, which was discovered by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN in 2012, providing dramatic experimental confirmation of Higgs' theoretical ideas. Higgs has received many honours and awards in recognition of his achievements. In 2013, Professor Peter Higgs was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. 

Professor Michael Ellis Fisher

Professor Michael Ellis Fisher, (born 1931)

Fisher graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in Physics in 1951 and PhD in 1957.

Fisher is the Distinguished University Professor and Regent's Professor at the University of Maryland, a position he has held since 1987. He has also been Wilson H. Elkins Professor, 1987-1993, at the same university. Fisher's areas of research include the following.

• Phase transitions

• Statistical mechanics

• Indirect electronic interactions and their consequences  

Steve Bourne

Steve Bourne, (born 1944)

Bourne graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in mathematics in 1965.

Steve Bourne is Chief Technology Officer of Rally Ventures. During his time at Icon, Bourne designed the UNIX Command Language, which has come to be known as the 'Bourne Shell' — this is used extensively in UNIX programming. In addition to studying at King's, Bourne completed a Master’s degree in Computer Science and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Trinity College, Cambridge. 

Professor Michael Levitt

Professor Michael Levitt, (born 1947)

Levitt graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in Physics in 1967.

Professor Levitt gained his PhD from Cambridge University in 1971 and has since worked as the Robert W. and Vivian K. Cahill Professor in Cancer Research, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford. He is currently Professor of Structural Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine.

In 2013, Michael Levitt was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel, for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.

 

Keith J Devlin

Keith J Devlin, (born 1947)

Devlin graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in Mathematics in 1968.

Devlin is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Stanford University’s Human-Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute. He is a regular commentator on US National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition, where he is known as ‘The Math Guy’. Devlin is the author of a number of books, including '' The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved And Why Numbers Are Like Gossip (2001) and 'The Man of Numbers: Fibonacci's Arithmetic Revolution' (2011) among others.

Devlin's current area of research focuses on different media to teach and communicate mathematics to diverse audiences. 

Professor Andrew Fabian

Professor Andrew Fabian, (born 1948)

Fabian graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in Physics in 1969.

Professor Fabian is most noted for his contributions to the study of X-ray astronomy and high energy astrophysics. His current research interests are black holes, active galactic nuclei, clusters of galaxies, and X-ray astronomy. From 2008–10, Fabian was President of the Institute of Astronomy. Fabian is the Director of the Institute of Astronomy, at the University of Cambridge.

 

 
Dr Claudio Maccone

Dr Claudio Maccone, (born 1948)

Maccone graduated from King’s College London with a PhD in Mathematics in 1980.

Dr Maccone has published nearly 100 scientific and technical papers, many of which feature in the "Acta Astronautica”.

In 2010, Maccone was named Technical Director of the International Academy of Astronautics. 

Eric Nicoli

Eric Nicoli, (born 1950)

Nicoli graduated from King’s College London with a BSc in Physics in 1971.

Nicoli is the former CEO of EMII Group plc. He has also been a non-executive chairman at HMV Group plc, The Tussauds Group and Vue Entertainment Ltd.

John Deacon

John Deacon, (born 1951)

John Deacon graduated from Chelsea College, which is now part of King's, with a BSc in Electronics in 1969.

Deacon is a retired musician, best known as the bassist for rock band Queen.

Professor Marcelo Gleiser

Professor Marcelo Gleiser (born 1959)

Professor Marcelo Gleiser graduated from King’s with a PhD in Physics in 1986.

Gleiser is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. He has worked at the college since 1991. In 1998, Gleiser was the recipient of the Appleton Chair of Natural Philosophy, Dartmouth College.

Gleiser is a Fellow and General Councillor of the American Physical Society and recipient of the Presidential Faculty Fellows Award from the White House and National Science Foundation. He is the author of four books and a number of essays, which have featured in magazines and newspapers worldwide.

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