History of Physics Group


The next meeting of the Group will be From Hooke to Helioseismology in Leicester on 9-10 April.

We have three further meetings scheduled for 2015:

Focus on Light: Meeting to celebrate the International Year of Light (organised jointly with the IOP Optical Group): 5 June, University of Bristol;

50 years of Dilution Refrigerators (organised jointly with the IOP Low Temperature Group) 16 September, University of Manchester;

Farewell to Magnox (organised jointly with the IOP Nuclear Industry Group) 28 October, Wylfa, Holyhead, Anglesey.

Further details of these meetings will be posted when available.

There has been a delay in printing the special newsletter based on last June’s meeting “Physicists and Mathematicians of Belfast”. It will be mailed to members as soon as possible. Our next regular newsletter is expected to be issued in the autumn. We welcome contributions from members; if you would like to contribute an article, please contact the Editor, Malcolm Cooper, at mcooper@physics.org.

About the Group

The Group was established in 1984. Its main aims are to secure the written, oral and instrumental record of British physics for posterity and to explore ways in which history can be used more effectively in the understanding, teaching and general communication of physics. Since the history of physics deals with all aspects of physics the Group also hopes to provide a forum whereby the different and sometimes fragmented disciplines of physics and related subjects may interact fruitfully.

Four major areas of interest have been identified:

  • oral history and archives
  • the history of experimentation and instruments
  • the history of physics ideas
  • the history of the interactions between physics and society

The Group intends to pursue those aspects of the history of physics which especially require the skills of the physicist and which are of particular interest to the practitioner of physics. It is generally felt that nineteenth- and twentieth-century physics will be of greatest interest to members of the Institute.

To achieve our aims the Group holds at least two half- or one-day meetings and an evening lecture each year. In addition a regular newsletter is issued which contains information on past and future meetings of the Group and related organisations, articles on the history of physics, and Group news.

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