Record

Authorised form of nameLonsdale; Dame; Kathleen Yardley (1903 - 1971)
Other forms of nameKathleen
Other forms of surnameYardley
Dates1903 - 1971
Place of birthNewbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
Date of birth28/01/1903
Place of deathLondon
Date of death01/04/1971
Research fieldCrystallography
Chemistry
Physics
ActivityEducation:
County High School for Girls, Ilford; Bedford College for Women. BSc (1922, maths and physics and was first in the University of London lists)
Career:
Offered a research post in 1922 by W H Bragg (FRS 1907) to study the crystal structure of organic compounds by X-ray analysis; worked first at University College, London, then from 1923 at the Royal Institution, London. Working with W.T.Astbury began to apply space group theories to the study of X-ray diffraction patterns from crystals. Their important paper 'Tabulated data for the examination of the 230 space-groups by homogenous X-rays' was published by the Royal Society in 'Philosophical Transactions' in 1924. Went to Leeds (1927-1930), where she carried out important analyses of hexamethylbenzene and hexachlorobenzene crystals. International crystallographersd recognised the need for more comprehensive tables for crystal structure determination, and Lonsdale was a member of the editorial groupconcerned with the prpduction of new tables. She worked from home in the early 1930's follwing the birth of her first child, providing the structure factor formulae for each space group. The resulting 'International Tables', published in 1935, proved to be only the beginning of a project to shich she devoted much time and effort during the rest of her career, becoming Chaiman of the new Commission of Tables in 1948 and the principal editor in the production of the new volumes of 'International Tables' which first appeared in 1951. She returned to the Royal Institution in 1931 and remained there for the next fifteen years, concentrating on diamagnetic anisotropy, where her work on the magnetic anisotropy of benzil led to her studies of disorder in crystals caused by thermal motions, one of her principal research interests during the rest of her career. She was the first woman to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (1945); Reader in Crystallography, University College, London (1946), becoming Professor of Chemistry (1949). She established her own research school there and introduced two new courses in crystallography, one for undergraduates and the other for graduates. Among other wide interests, she studied methonium compounds, urinary calculi and synthetic diamonds, though her work on the 'International Tables' diverted much of her time from research. She developed divergent-beam X-ray photography of crystals and studied X-ray reflection by single crystals. She and her husband became members of the Society of Friends in 1935, which led to her refusal to register for civil defence duties, although she was willing to work as a volunteer. On her refusal to pay a fine for non-registration she was imprisoned in Holloway gaol for one month in 1943. This led to her taking an active interest in penal reform; she was made a member of the Board of Visitors, Aylesbury Prison for Women and Borstal Institution for Girls in 1949 and later served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Visitors of a borstal in Essex. She was also concerned with world peace and ethics in science, becoming Vice-President of the Atomic Scientists Association and President of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She attended several Pugwash Conferences on World Affairs and expressed her hope for peace in numerous articles, including a Penguin special 'Is Peace Possible?' and in lectures. She was Vice-President of the International Union of Crystallography (1960-19660, and President (1966); General Secretary of the British Association (1959-1964), President of the Physics Sections (1967) and President of the British Association (1967-1968), the first woman to hold the post. She received honorary degrees (DSc or LLD) from several universities including those of Wales, Leicester, Manchester, Oxford, Bath and Leeds.
Honours:
DBE 1956
Membership categoryFellow
Date of election22/03/1945
Age at election42
Royal Society activityRoyal Society roles:
VP 1960-1961
Medals and prizes:
Davy Medal 1957
RelationshipsMarried (1927) Thomas Lonsdale; two daughters, one son
Published worksWith W.T.Astbury, 'Tabulated data for the examination of the 230 space-groups by homogenous X-rays' in 'Philosophical Transactions' 1924
SourcesSources:
DSB
Obituaries:
Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 1975 vol 21 pp 447-484, plate, by Dorothy M C Hodgkin
References:
Joan Mason, 'The Admission of the First Women to the Royal Society of London' in NR 1992 vol 46 pp 279-300, plate
Joan Mason, 'The Women Fellows' Jubilee' in NR 1995 vol 49 pp 125-140
R Singh and F Riess, 'The nobel laureate Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman FRS and his contacts with the British Scientific community in a social and political context' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 47-64
D Blow and S Wallwork, 'Prehistory of the British Crystallographic Association' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 177-186
M Baldwin, 'Where are your intelligent mothers to come from? Marriage and Family in the scientific career of Dame Kathleen Lonsdale FRS (1903-1971)' in NR 2009 Vol 63 pp 81-94
Royal Society codeNA7993
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
IM/002803Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen YardleySeptember 1948
IM/003324Nikolayeva Tereshkova, Valentina6 February 1964
IM/002806Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen Yardleynd
IM/002808Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen Yardleynd
IM/002804Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen Yardleynd
IM/Meitner Graf/002805Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen Yardleynd
RR/50/77Referee's report by Arthur Hutchinson, on a paper 'The structure of symm. (1-3-5) triphenylbenzene. Part I' by Boris Orelkin and Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale1 January 1934
RR/39/74Referee's report by William Lawrence Bragg, on a paper 'The structure of the benzene ring in C6 (CH3)6' by Kathleen Lonsdale[February 1929]
RR/61/50Referee's report by Alfred Edwin Howard Tutton, on a paper 'Structure of 1.2-diphenylbenzene (C18 H14)' by C J Birkett Clews and Kathleen Yardley LonsdaleMay 1937
RR/69/227Letter from Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'Temperature changes in the crystal structure of barium titanium oxide' by Helen D Megaw to J D Griffith Davies, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society2 July 1946
RR/58/58Referee's report by Charles Galton Darwin, on a paper 'Diamagnetic anisotrophy of crystals in relation to their molecular structure' by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale and Kariamanikkam Srinivasa KrishnanApril 1936
RR/58/59Referee's report by Nevill Francis Mott, on a paper 'Magnetic anisotropy and electronic structure of aromatic molecules' by Kathleen Yardley LonsdaleNovember 1936
RR/66/146Referee's report by Christopher Kelk Ingold, on a paper 'Diamagnetic anisotropy of organic molecules' by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale[March 1939]
RR/69/241Letter from Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'The effect of temperature on the intensity of x-ray reflection by gold' by E A Owne and R Wilson-Williams to J D Griffith Davies, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society26 June 1946
RR/67/266Referee's report by Nevil Vincent Sidgwick, on a paper 'The structure of melamine, C3N6H6' by Ellie Knaggs and Kathleen Yardley LonsdaleSeptember 1940
RR/69/174Referee's report by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'X-ray reflexions from dilute solid solutions' by Kun Huang1946
RR/69/226Referee's report by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'Temperature changes in the crystal structure of barium titanium oxide' by Helen D Megaw1946
RR/69/215Referee's report by William Thomas Astbury, on a paper 'Divergent-beam X-ray photography of crystals' by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale1945
RR/67/276Referee's report by William Thomas Astbury, on a paper 'Structure and molecular anisotropy of sorbic acid, CH3 . CH : CH . CH : CH . COOH' by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, John Monteath Robertson and Ida Woodward1940
RR/67/275Referee's report by Nevil Vincent Sidgwick, on a paper 'Molecular anisotropy of urea, CO(NH2)2, and of related compounds' by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale14 October 1940
RR/69/214Referee's report by William Lawence Bragg, on a paper 'Divergent-beam X-ray photography of crystals' by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale1945
RR/70/126Referee's report by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'Magnetic properties of some paramagnetic crystals at low temperatures' by Bhagawati Charan Guha9 November 1950
RR/69/240Referee's report by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'The effect of temperature on the intensity of x-ray reflection by gold' by E A Owen and R Wilson-Williams1946
RR/69/271Referee's report by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'The accuracy of bond-length estimations obtained by double Fourier series methods from X-ray data' by John Monteath Robertson and John Graham White1946
RR/71/40Referee's report by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'The refinement of atomic parameters by the technique known in X-ray crystallography as ‘the method of steepest descents’' by A D Booth[1948]
RR/70/125Letter from Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'Magnetic properties of some paramagnetic crystals at low temperatures' by Bhagawati Charan Guha to David Christie Martin, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society9 November 1950
RR/71/11Referee's report by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'Neutron diffraction' by G E Bacon and J Thewlis[1948]
RR/71/41Letter from Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, to Alfred Charles Glyn Egerton, regarding a paper 'The refinement of atomic parameters by the technique known in X-ray crystallography as ‘the method of steepest descents’' by A D Booth19 October 1948
RR/70/222Referee's report by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'The theory of the vibrations and the Roman spectrum of the diamond lattice' by Helen M J Smith1947
NLB/65/902Copy letter from James Hopwood Jeans, Secretary of the Royal Society; to Sir William [Henry] Bragg, FRS25 January 1924
RR/30/6Referee's report by Arthur Schuster, on a paper 'Tabulated data for the examination of the 230 space-groups by homogeneous X-rays' by William Thomas Astbury and Kathleen Yardley[1924]
RR/30/7Referee's report by Robert John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh, on a paper 'Tabulated data for the examination of the 230 space-groups by homogeneous X-rays' by William Thomas Astbury and Kathleen Yardley[March 1924]
NLB/66/220Copy letter from James Hopwood Jeans, Secretary of the Royal Society; to [Robert John Strutt] Lord Rayleigh.18 March 1924
EC/1945/13Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen Yardley: certificate of election to the Royal Society1945
NLB/70/881Copy letter from Francis Alexander Towle, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society; to Mrs [Kathleen] Lonsdale; Physics Department, The University of Leeds28 October 1927
NLB/65/928Copy letter from James Hopwood Jeans, Secretary of the Royal Society; to Lord Rayleigh [Robert John Strutt], FRS31 January 1924
NLB/66/255Copy letter from James Hopwood Jeans, Secretary of the Royal Society; to [Robert John Strutt] Lord Rayleigh27 March 1924
IM/002807Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen Yardleynd
IM/002802Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen Yardley1995
RR/68/102Memoranda, on a paper 'Extra reflexions from the two types of diamond' by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale25 October 1941
WF/123Grant application from British Association for the Advancement of Science to the Wolfson Foundation1964-1974
NLB/66/168Copy letter from James Hopwood Jeans, Secretary of the Royal Society; to [Robert John Strutt] Lord Rayleigh, FRS6 March 1924
P/0155Portrait of Lonsdale, Kathleen1963
RR/69/272Letter from Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, on a paper 'The accuracy of bond-length estimations obtained by double Fourier series methods from X-ray data' by John Monteath Robertson and John Graham White to David Christie Martin, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Society3 January 1946
RR/68/122Letter from Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, to William Henry Bragg, regarding three papers, 'Extra reflexions from the two types of diamond' by Kathleen Yardley Lonsdale, 'Reflexion and scattering of X-rays with change of frequency, I. Theoretical' and 'Reflexion and scattering of X-rays with change of frequency - II. Experimental' by Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman18 September 1941
IM/GA/WS/1835Lonsdale, Dame Kathleen Yardleynd
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