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The Papers of E T S Walton

Reference Code: GBR/0014/WLTN

Scope and Contents

The material at Churchill Archives Centre comprises Walton's Cavendish Laboratory notebooks with associated papers and correspondence.


  • Creation: 1927 - 2005

Conditions Governing Access

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

Material in this collection is open to researchers unless otherwise marked in the catalogue.

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

Ernest Walton was born 6 October 1903, the son of Reverend J. A. Walton and Anne Elizabeth (formerly Sinton). He was educated at the Methodist College, Belfast, Trinity College, Dublin and Cambridge University.

From 1927-34, Walton worked at the Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge, firstly as the holder of the 1851 Overseas Research Scholarship, then from 1930-34 with the Senior Research Award of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research; he was also the Clerk Maxwell Scholar, 1932-1934. In 1934 he returned to Ireland as Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin, from 1934-74 (Fellow Emeritus 1974), and Erasmus Smith's Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy 1947-74.

Walton's awards include: Honorary Life Member, RDS, 1981; Honorary FIEI 1985; Honorary FInstP 1988; Honorary DSc: QUB, 1959; Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota, USA, 1975; Ulster, 1988. Honorary PhD Dublin City University, 1991. Awarded Hughes Medal by Royal Society, 1938; (with Sir John Cockcroft) Nobel Prize for Physics, 1951.

In 1934, Walton married Winifred Isabel Wilson (who died 1983); they had two sons and two daughters.

Publications: Papers on hydrodynamics, nuclear physics and micro-waves.


3 archive box(es)

Language of Materials



The papers are arranged by scientific papers, Cavendish Laboratory notebooks, photocopied correspondence, correspondence between Walton and the Smithsonian Institution on the display of his papers, and miscellaneous items.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were donated by Professor E T S Walton and Dr Alan Walton in 1976, 1998, 2004 and 2005.


This collection (fonds) level description and catalogue of the papers was compiled by Katharine Thomson of Churchill Archives Centre in August 2001. Biographical information was obtained from Ernest Walton's entry in Who Was Who 1897-1996 (A and C Black) and from the papers.

Date information

DateText: The majority of material in the archive dates from 1927 to 1938.


Walton, Ernest Thomas Sinton, 1903-1995, nuclear physicist

2001-09-03 14:47:01+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