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History of Fusion

Reference Code: GBR/0014/HIFU

Scope and Contents

Papers on the early days of controlled thermonuclear fusion research in the UK, 1945-60, collected by Dr J .D. Lawson, FRS.

Includes the printed report "Fusion research in the UK, 1945-60" by John Hendry and John D. Lawson, published by the Authority Historian's Office, AEA Technology Harwell, Oxfordshire (box 1). The rest of the archive consists mainly of papers mentioned in the report, other historical material, letters from Peter Thonemann to Hendry and Lawson, transcripts of interviews with Sir John Cockroft and Sir George Thomson (broadcast January 1958), transcript and tape recording of interview of A. J. Croft by Thonemann (1982), photographs and press cuttings


  • 1945-08 - 1993-08

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

John Lawson was born in 1923 and educated at Wolverhampton Grammar School and St John's College, Cambridge.

He worked at the Telecommunications Research Establishment, Malvern, Aerials group, 1943; Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE), Malvern, Accelerator group, 1947; AERE Harwell, General Physics Division, 1951-62; Microwave Laboratory, Stanford, USA, 1959-60; Rutherford Laboratory (later Rutherford Appleton Laboratory), Applied Physics Division, and later Technology Division, 1962-87. He was Deputy Chief Scientific Officer, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxfordshire, 1978-87.

Among his publications is, "The Physics of Charged Particle Beams", (1977, 2nd edn 1988).


5 archive box(es)



Other Finding Aids

A copy of this finding aid is available for consultation at Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge, the National Register of Archives, London and on the Janus website, />.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were deposited by Mr Lawson in August 1993

Related Materials

Churchill Archives Centre also holds the papers of John Lawson, reference GBR/0014/LWSN.


This collection (fonds) level description was prepared by Andrew Riley at Churchill Archives Centre in April 2003.


Lawson, John David, 1923-2008, nuclear physicist
2003-05-06 07:51:19+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

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

The UK Archival Thesaurus has been integrated with our catalogue, thanks to Kings College London and the AIM25 project for their support with this.