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Foote Prints: John Cockcroft and the controlled transmutation of elements collection


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Sir John Henry Cockcroft shared the 1951 Nobel Prize in Physics with Ernest Walton for experiments they performed between 1928 and 1932 in the Cavendish Laboratory of Lord [Ernest] Rutherford that resulted in the disintegration of the nucleus of a lithium atom under controlled circumstances into two nuclei of helium. Cockcroft was born in Todmorden, England on 27 May, 1897. He studied at Victorian University of Manchester, Manchester College of Technology and St. John's College, Cambridge. During the war years Cockcroft held the post of Assistant Director of Scientific Research in the Ministry of Supply and in 1944 took charge of the Canadian Atomic Energy project. In 1946 he turned to Britain to set up the Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) at Harwell. Cockcroft was a staunch supporter of atomic power used for peaceful ends. He died at Cambridge England on 18 September, 1967.

This is a tightly focused collection. In addition to Genthieu's typsescript, liberally corrected by hand by Cockcroft, there is some pro-forma correspondence in which Genthieu introduces himself, explains the thrust of his proposed article and makes his request for assistance. The responses are mostly by Cockcroft's secretary, but there is one letter signed by Cockcroft himself.

The collection consists of the typescript of an article by Genthieu with corrections by Cockcroft and some related correspondence.

Source of acquisition--Genthieu, Norman P. Method of acquisition--Gift;; Date of acquisition--1998..

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