Allibone, T(homas) E(dward) 1903-2003

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ALLIBONE, T(homas) E(dward) 1903-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born November 11, 1903, in Sheffield, England; died September 10 (one source says September 9), 2003, in Berkshire, England. Physicist, educator, and author. Allibone, an adept scientist knowledgeable in everything from mathematics and metallurgy to electrical engineering and physics, was a leader in the field of particle accelerators and fusion research. He earned his B.Sc. at the University of Sheffield in 1924, followed by a Ph.D. in 1926 and a D.Sc. in 1936; he also received a second Ph.D. from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in 1929. While at Gonville and Caius, he had the opportunity to work with leading physicists of his day, including Ernest Rutherford, at the Cavendish Laboratory, where he assisted Rutherford in his particle research, including the construction of the Voltage doubler that could generate 500,000 volts of electricity. After leaving the Cavendish Laboratory, Allibone, who decided against an academic career, became head of the High-Voltage Laboratory at Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Co., where he remained from 1930 to 1946. During World War II, he was also involved with the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb, as well as being a member of the British Mission on Atomic Energy. After the war, Allibone entered a very productive phase of his career as director of AEI, Ltd., where he headed the laboratory at Aldermaston until 1963. It was while at AEI that he led a young and dynamic team of physicists that accomplished such advances as creating a better electron microscope and forwarding the development of nuclear fusion research. Allibone himself contributed a new torus design to the accelerator machine and conducted considerable research on plasma. After leaving AEI, he became chief scientist at the Central Electricity Generating Board during the late 1960s, and from 1970 until 1982 he was an external professor of electrical engineering at the University of Leeds. Allibone remained an active lecturer and author until the age of ninety-five, and he was a visiting professor of physics at City University beginning in 1981, becoming the first Frank Poynton Professor in physics there in 1984. Among Allibone's books are Rutherford: Father of Nuclear Energy (1972), Lightning: The Long Spark (1977), and Cambridge Physics in the Thirties (1984). Counting photography and philately among his hobbies, his last publication was the two-volume Philately and the Royal Society (Volume 1, 1992, Volume 2, 1998).



Guardian (London, England), September 15, 2003, p. 23.

Independent (London, England), September 11, 2003, p. 18.

Times (London, England), September 16, 2003.

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Allibone, T(homas) E(dward) 1903-2003

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Allibone, T(homas) E(dward) 1903-2003