Freeman, Joan (1918–1998)

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Freeman, Joan (1918–1998)

Australian nuclear physicist. Born Jan 7, 1918, in Australia; died Mar 18, 1998; m. John Jelley (scientist), Feb 1958.

Successfully overcame great barriers to excel as a physicist when women were discouraged from the field; on scholarship, attended Sydney University (1936–40); studied at Newnham College, Cambridge and Cavendish Laboratory (PhD, 1949) and worked on a magnetic spectrometer; was senior scientific officer in Nuclear Physics Division at Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE) in Harwell (1951–60), then Tandem Group leader (1960–78), and consultant (1978–83); on sabbatical at MIT, met Oxford theoretical physicist and future collaborator, Roger Blin-Stoyle; with Blin-Stoyle, won the British Institute of Physics' Rutherford Medal, the 1st woman to achieve that award; wrote over 80 publications. Awarded honorary doctorate from University of Sydney.

See also autobiography A Passion for Physics: The Story of a Woman Physicist (1991).

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