iCHSTM 2013 Programme • Version 5.3.6, 27 July 2013 • ONLINE (includes late changes)
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Campus history walk: physics
Event code: M247
Fri 26 July, 13:00–13:45 ▪ Walk starts outside the main entrance to the Manchester Museum
Organiser: Neil Todd | University of Manchester, United Kingdom

This tour will focus in particular on the 1900 laboratory designed by Arthur Schuster, the physicist who took the lead in the development of the independent University of Manchester and brought physics to the centre of the University’s international profile. The design of the laboratory looked to the best German and American models, integrating new developments in ‘electro-technics’ (the field from which electrical engineering emerged).

From 1907 to 1919, the laboratory was home to Ernest Rutherford and a stellar group of researchers including Niels Bohr, Henry Moseley, Hans Geiger, George de Hevesy and Ernest Marsden. Each year brought major new discoveries, including the atomic nucleus in 1911, the establishment of atomic number and the quantum atom in 1913 and transmutation in 1919.

After the war, Rutherford was succeeded by the crystallographer Lawrence Bragg, and radioactivity research largely disappeared to Cambridge – although traces of radioactivity remained. Bragg’s successor in 1937 was Patrick Blackett, who established cosmic ray research in Manchester, culminating in the discovery of strange particles by Rochester and Butler in 1947. Blackett also began his work on geomagnetism here, whilst playing a major part in the reconstruction of the University after the Second World War.

The arrival of Sam Devons in 1955, the last of Rutherford’s students, signalled Manchester’s nuclear renaissance, as a number of particle accelerators were constructed. After Devons’ early departure in 1960, leadership passed to the theoretician, Brian Flowers, and in 1967 the Physics Department moved to the present laboratory named in honour of Schuster – the site of many Congress sessions – on the east side of Oxford Road.

Part of Schuster’s original 1900 laboratory, meanwhile, was occupied for a time by Psychology, before being renovated for administration in 2004; it has since been renamed the ‘Rutherford Building’, and some of the historically important rooms are available to visit.

The walk will be led by Dr Neil Todd, a physicist, neuroscientist, and radio-archaeologist of modern physics.

There is no charge for this walk. Numbers will be limited, so please register in advance. You can do this at any time before the Congress by emailing tours@ichstm2013.com with your details; or you can sign up in person at the Congress Events Desk.

Location: Walk starts outside the main entrance to the Manchester Museum
Coupland Street (off Oxford Road on the main University campus)
Some maps based on OSM data via Mapquest Open. Map data © Open Street Map and contributors, used with thanks.