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Medical Physics, 1947 - 1991

Reference Code: GBR/0014/RTBT 4/2

Scope and Contents

From the Series:

The material in this section has been presented in two distinct groups to reflect Rotblat’s careers in nuclear and medical physics. Both of these groups are rich in manuscript experimental records and drafts of published work; the nuclear physics material, resulting from collaborations with many individuals, has a far greater quantity of scientific correspondence.

The greater part of the nuclear physics papers date from his years at the University of Liverpool (1939-1949), though there are substantial post-Liverpool correspondence and papers on nuclear experiments up to 1960. World War Two and post-War work on the ‘Tube Alloys’ project forms a large component of the nuclear material and largely comprises experimental and theoretical notes, drafts of papers and correspondence. Notebooks date from 1937-c.1945; a few of these (from the late 1930s) and a small quantity of papers are in Polish and are from Rotblat’s period at the Free University of Poland. A small group of papers survives from his 1944 work on the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos, New Mexico. Much of his post-War nuclear physics research centred on photographic emulsion techniques, involving collaboration with other laboratories such as those at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham. His correspondents during these years include W.E. Burcham, O.R. Frisch, R.E. Peierls and C.F. Powell and there are also papers relating to the development of cyclotrons in the UK and the USA. For correspondence and papers covering the building of the cyclotron and the post-War development of the Nuclear Physics Research Laboratory at Liverpool, see Section B, ‘University of Liverpool’.

The medical physics papers are almost entirely the product of Rotblat’s years as Professor of Physics at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, 1950-1976; a small quantity relating to work with radioactive isotopes carried out at Liverpool is described under the title ‘Early work (University of Liverpool)’. At the Medical College Rotblat, usually in collaboration with P.J. Lindop, made numerous important studies on the effects of radiation on living tissues, especially the ‘life-shortening’ experiments. The record of this work is provided by a large group of experimental notes, draft papers and calculations, with some notebooks and correspondence. This covers all periods of his career at the Medical College and extends into his retirement years. A small amount of material, chiefly concerning investigations of radiation exposure cases, also mostly dates from the period after his retirement. For papers relating to the Linear Accelerator programme see Section C, ‘St Bartholomew’s Hospital’.


  • Creation: 1947 - 1991

Conditions Governing Access

From the Fonds:

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference


Finding aid date

2014-09-05 11:54:33.883000+00:00

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087