Clare Hall Colloquium

Tuesday 25 November, 19:45, Meeting Room

Malcolm Longair
The Cavendish Laboratory, 1932 to 1953
Decline and Regeneration

Emeritus Jacksonian Professor of Natural Philosophy, Emeritus Professorial Fellow and former Vice-President, Clare Hall.

1932 was an Annus Mirabilis at the Cavendish Laboratory, the culmination of the Laboratory's ascent to the forefront of physics associated with the names of Maxwell, Rayleigh, Thomson and Rutherford.

In 1938 Bragg inherited a laboratory in decline after its glory years.  Then WW2 intervened.  After the war, Bragg changed the direction of activity in the laboratory and within a decade it was back at the forefront of research with the discovery of the structure of DNA and the birth of radio astronomy.  How this came about reflects many changes in  research in physics, resulting from work during the war and the growth of Big Science.  

The talk will be profusely illustrated.

On this page

A Midnight Modern Conversation (Detail)
Engraving by
William Hogarth, 1732

The Clare Hall Colloquium Podcasts

Clare Hall Colloquia are now available for online listening, or for downloading as MP3 files.
Visit our Recent Talks page.

Receive an email alert when a new podcast is available.


Contact  Adrian du Plessis for scheduling a talk

Updated  Nov.18.2014