Record

Authorised form of nameCockcroft; Sir; John Douglas (1897 - 1967); physicist
SurnameCockcroft
ForenamesJohn Douglas
Dates1897 - 1967
NationalityBritish
Dates and placesBirth:
Todmorden, Yorkshire, England (27 May 1897)
Death:
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire (18 September 1967)
Buried:
St Giles' cemetery, now Ascension Cemetery, Cambridge
ActivityResearch Field:
Physics, electrical engineering
Education:
Career;
A Signaller in First Wordl War. Apprenticed with Metropolitan Vickers, while he attained a Manster of Science in Technology, before going to St John's College in Cambridge where he took the mathematics tripos in 1924. At the Cavendish Laboratory under Sir Ernest Rutherford, with E T S Watson developed the high voltage particle accelerator machine which brought him fame. Assisted witht he development of radar in the Second World War. From 1943 involved with the development of the atomic bomb, and went to Canada to direct a British, Canadian and French team. After the war became Director of Harwell, Britain's peacetime atomic energy research programme. First reactor for producing nuclear energy for the national grid opened at Calder Hall in 1953.
Honours:
CBE 1944; Kt 1948; KCB 1953; OM 1957
Royal Society activityMembership:
Fellow
Election Date:
7/05/1936
Medals/Prizes:
Hughes Medal 1938; Royal Medal 1954; Nobel Prize (Physics) 1951
Lectures:
Rutherford 1952
SourcesSources:
Bulloch's Roll; DSB
Obituaries:
Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 1968 vol 14 pp 139-188, plate, by M L E Oliphant and Penney
References:
Robert Spence, 'Address at the Service of Memorial and Thanksgiving for Sir John Cockcroft, OM, KCB, FRS at Westminster Abbey on 17 October 1967' in NR 1968 vol 23 pp 31-32
J B Adams, 'Four Generations of Nuclear Physicists' in NR 1972-3 vol 27 pp 75-94
Sir Harrie Massey, 'Nuclear Physics Today and in Rutherford's Day' in NR 1972-3 vol 27 pp 25-44
W E Burcham, 'The Cavendish High-Voltage Laboratory 1935-39' in NR 1999 vol 53 pp 121-134
F R N Nabarro, 'A scientist of the Commonwealth. Schonland, scientist and soldier, by B Austin' in NR 2002 vol 56 pp 396-398
J S Rowlinson, 'The war time work of Hinshelwood and his colleagues' in NR 2004 vol 58 pp 161-175
Notes:
Appears in DSB under Cockroft, also in R. Source for death date BM 18, p145 and DSB. Index to BR gives 17 Sep 1967.
Royal Society codeNA8174
Archives associated with this Fellow
Reference numberTitleDate
PB/1/33/1/2Nobel Prize1948
PB/7/1/2/5Correspondence with Sir John Cockcroft and General Begeron on Solar Energy1951
PB/8/10/4Correspondence with scientific colleagues, with recollections and information on Evan James Williams's work and personality.1945-1946
PB/4/8/9Correspondence with Sir John Cockcroft 1942
TG/1/2/11Letter from Thomas Gold to Sir John Cockcroft, The Master's Lodge, Churchill College, Cambridge1 July 1964
PB/8/44'Speech of thanks to J.D.C. [Sir John Cockcroft] at Opening Ceremony of Physics Building, 20.10.60.' [at Imperial College, London].1960
MM/18/1Letter from JD Cockcroft to Francis Parry Burch28 May 1932
PB/9/1/26Correspondence with Sir John Cockcroft1939, 1964-1966
PB/4/1/4Correspondence, mainly with Sir John Cockcroft, on personnel for teams for coastal defence radar chainsJuly-September 1939
IM/GA/WS/2462Cockcroft, Sir John Douglasnd
IM/GA/WRS/8717Cockcroft, Sir John Douglasnd
PB/6/2/4/2Folder inscribed 'Royal Society Evidence to Trend Committee'1962
WF/95Grant application from Churchill College, Cambridge to the Wolfson Foundation 1963-1966
RR/65/237Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'The magnetic properties of bismuth, III. Further measurements on the de Haas-van Alphen effect' by David ShoenbergNovember 1938
RR/65/178Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'The low-temperature properties of gaseous helium' by Harrie Stewart Wilson Massey and R A Buckingham16 July 1938
RR/66/336Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'The scattering of mesotrons in metal plates' by J G Wilson[October 1939]
RR/55/92Referee's report by Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett, on a paper 'Experiments with high velocity positive ions V—Further experiments on the disintegration of boron' by John Douglas Cockcroft and Wilfrid Bennett LewisJanuary 1936
RR/65/49Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'Experiments on the transmutation of fluorine by protons and deutrones' by William Ernest Burcham and C L SmithDecember 1938
RR/61/91Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'Experiments on iron ammonium alum in alternating fields at very low temperatures' by A H Cooke and R A HullJuly 1937
RR/66/228Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'On the atomic heat of liquid helium below 1°K' by G L Pickard and F Simon[February 1939]
RR/66/3Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'Superconductivity of thin films. I. Mercury' by E T S Appleyard, J R Bristow, Heinz London and A D Misener[June 1939]
RR/65/67Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'The transfer effect in liquid He II. I. The transfer phenomena & II. Properties of the transfer film' by J G Daunt and K Mendelssohn5 January 1939
RR/66/4Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'The electrical conductivity of thin films of mercury' by E T S Appleyard and J R Bristow19 June 1939
RR/65/148Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'The Zeeman and Paschen-back effects in strong magnetic mields' by Piotr Leonidovich Kapitza, P G Strelkov and E LaurmanFebruary 1938
RR/66/330Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'K-electron capture, nuclear isomerism and the longperiod activities of titanium and scandium' by H Walke, Evan James Williams and G R Evans11 March 1939
WF/305Grant applications from Weizmann Institute of Science to the Wolfson Foundation1961 - 1983
PB/8/18/6/1Blackett's correspondence with colleagues and friends re text or opinions of 'Military and political consequences of atomic energy'1948-1949
PB/1/33/3/1Companion of Honour1965
RR/55/91Referee's report by Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett, on a paper 'Experiments with high velocity positive ions VI—The disintegration of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen by deuterons' by John Douglas Cockcroft and Wilfrid Bennett LewisJanuary 1936
RR/60/4Referee's report by John Douglas Cockcroft, on a paper 'Distribution of magnetic field around simply and multiply connected supraconductors' by H Grayson Smith and J O Wilhelm20 June 1936
WF/253Grant applications from Rothamsted Experimental Station to the Wolfson Foundation 1964-2007
WF/6Grant application from the University of Oxford to the Wolfson Foundation for Chair in Metallurgy1957-2007
WF/87Grant application from University of Cambridge to the Wolfson Foundation1964-1965
WF/198Grant application from University of Cambridge to the Wolfson Foundation 1965-1973
WF/288Grant application from University of Edinburgh to the Wolfson Foundation 1964-1971
EC/1936/02Cockcroft, Sir John Douglas: certificate of election to the Royal Society
PB/1/33/2Correspondence concerning the Copley Medal of the Royal Society1956
WF/252Grant application from St Hugh's College, Oxford, to the Wolfson Foundation1960-2005
WF/96Grant application from Churchill College, Cambridge to the Wolfson Foundation 1958-1965
IM/002476Kapitza, Piotr Leonidovich4 May 1966
IM/000904Cockcroft, Sir John Douglasnd
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