Galactic Header



The Education of Physicists between the Wars: by those who were educated then.

Held at the Greater Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. 30 October 1985


This meeting was organised by Raj Williamson on behalf of The Institute of Physics History of Physics Group.

Group of Speakers

Speakers: W E Burcham, T E Allibone, N F Mott, N Kurti, S Curran & H S Lipson, and the original programme sheet.

Click on the image thumbnail to play the relevant video stream.

Donald Cardwell

1. Donald Cardwell introduced by A J Meadows: Welcome and Introduction.


Duration 02:58 Size 27 MB.

William Burcham

2. W E Burcham: Some thoughts on physics courses in Cambridge 1931-37.


Duration 33:54 Size 284 MB.

T Allibone

3. T E Allibone: Cavendish Laboratory 1926-30


Duration 33:18 Size 323 MB.

Nevill Mott

4. Nevill Mott: Learning and teaching quantum mechanics in Cambridge, Copenhagen and Manchester.


Duration 19:55 Size 184 MB



5. Lunch interval: Mostly Manchester physics academic staff mingling.


Duration 03:01 Size 32 MB

Mingling Staff

6. Samuel Curran: The Scottish scene in inter-war years.


Duration 31:47 Size 299 MB.


Samuel Curran

7. N Kurti: Undergraduate in Paris 1926-28, postgraduate & DPhil student in Berlin 1938-31.

Duration 23:20 Size 270 MB.

Nicholas Kurti

8. H S Lipson: Physics in a minor department - Liverpool.


Duration 12:58 Size 141 MB.

Henry Lipson





Technical details. The only available source is a rather poor quality VHS from which a digital master at 768 x 576 pixels and 4:2:2 chroma subsampling was made. These files, when played onto a good monitor will appear better than they did when played off a 1985 domestic VHS machine onto a typical 1985 domestic CRT screen. However, the files are very large (about 30GB per hour) and to facilitate streaming, a 576p compressed mp4 version at 50% quality is provided here (about 800MB per hour) and there will be some visible artifacts. The VHS tape shows serious interlacing artifacts which are visible whenever people move although these were substantially eliminated by converting the video from interlaced frames to progressive. In addition, the colour balance is not natural, possibly due to fluorescent lighting. There is also signifcant colour bleed (chroma phase shift). The 180 min VHS tape ends 12 minutes into Lipson's talk which was scheduled for 30 minutes. An audio recording of the event is held by the American Institute of Physics in the “Niels Bohr Library and Archive” and is described as “3 sound tape cassettes (4 hrs) analog, mono”.

Camera: John Turner. Digitisation & Editing: Robin Marshall.


Copyright. The meeting was filmed by the Department of Physics' laboratory steward, John Turner, at the University of Manchester in 1985 and copyright is held by the University until 2055. The use of these videos for private study is freely permitted, but any use for commercial purposes whether in whole or part requires a licence from the University.


Return to main video calalogue
free counters