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Sraffa published comparatively little. Surviving material for the early publications is reasonably straightforward, but in the case of the edition of Ricardo's works and Production of commodities... a substantial number of distinct bundles survive. For the letter on Gramsci published in the Manchester Guardian see F1 below

Publications by others

Items in this section are typescripts of works sent to Sraffa, either for comment or as a courtesy, mostly by academics but in the last case by a publisher. This section is not intended to include straightforward offprints which will be found in the Sraffa printed book catalogue

Trinity College

This class contains a few items relating to Batchelor’s relationship with Trinity College. He was admitted as a Research Student in 1945, elected a Fellow under Title A [Junior Research Fellow] in 1947 and under Title B [Senior Research Fellow] in 1951. Correspondence concerning his admission can be found at BACH/B7

Science-Related Interests

H.1 -H.40 Aims and methods of science

H.41 -H.78 Science and society

H.79 -H.91 Science and education

H.92 -H.98 Science and war

H.99 -H.111 Science and religion

H.112-H.125 Chance and predictability

H.126-H.159 Euthanasia

H.160, H.161 Shorter talks.

The material in this Section includes notes, lectures, broadcasts and publications, and a little related correspondence.

There is inevitably some overlap with material assigned to other Sections, e.g., F.150 - F.209 on the effects of nuclear and thermonuclear power. The main criterion is that Section H contains the reflections of a non-professional on fields of activity affected by developments in his own profession.

Thomson was always interested in the wider aspects of science. Some of the talks on the purposes and methods of science, and of its relation with religion, appear to date from the late 1920s or early 1930s; his lectures in America and Canada, 1929-30, are known to have included a talk on the philosophical implications of the recent discoveries in physics.

The surviving material represents two main strands in Thomson's thinking. One of these is concerned with the practical aspects of science, its impact on society, its funding and guidance, its relations with government institutions, its influence on individual lives in peace and war. His book `The foreseeable future' (1955, widely translated) is the best known summation of these ideas, but the entries below indicate the number and also the time-span of his writings and lectures on similar topics.

The second aspect relates to abstract and philosophical concepts. From general discussion of scientific and religious criteria of truth and choice, Thomson was led to examine determinism in human affairs, and randomness and predictability in the human brain. Much of his later work is concerned with these matters.

The two threads may be said to come together in Thomson's work for the Voluntary Euthanasia Society. Here he seems to have felt that for both sociological and philosophical reasons an individual may, and should, exercise the power of choice over his life. Thomson gave much attention to this in his later years, and planned an extended work on the subject (H.126 - H.138), left unpublished at his death.

Early notebooks and research

This Section documents aspects of Thomson's education at the Perse School and Trinity College, Cambridge, and his early research conducted at the Cavendish Laboratory under the direction of his father immediately before and after the First World War.

The material is presented as follows:
B.1 - B.10 School notebooks 1905-10
The earliest of these dates from Thomson's first year at the Perse School, Cambridge, and the subjects covered include English literature and the classics as well as science and mathematics. During his last year at school he attended A. Wood's lectures at Cambridge University, and his notes on these appear at B.5 - B.7.

B.11 - B.31 Cambridge University. Undergraduate notebooks and early research 1910-14
The majority of these contain notes on lectures attended by Thomson during this period, including some by his father (B.26, B.27, B.30).
Item B.31 documents Thomson's first research at the Cavendish Laboratory, where he began work on positive rays under his father's direction in the summer of 1913, to be interrupted a year later by the outbreak of war.

B.32 - B.39 Research in Cambridge 1919-22
After the First World War Thomson returned to the Cavendish to resume the work on positive rays, turning later to anode rays with which he discovered, simultaneously with F.W. Aston, that lithium comprises two isotopes of masses 6 and 7.
The notebooks continue to May 1922, after which Thomson accepted an appointment as Professor of Natural Philosophy at Aberdeen University.

Many of Thomson's notebooks were re-used at different periods of his life; sometimes the old pages were torn out, sometimes he restarted from the back of the book. Occasionally a single notebook contains very diverse material, such as B.2 (school exercises at one end and personal accounts for 1924-26 at the other) and E.60 (school exercises followed by notes on thermonuclear research).

Biographical and Personal

A.1 - A.11 Biographical and autobiographical material

A.12 - A.53 Career and appointments

A.54 - A.64 Honours and Awards

A.65 - A.78 Letters of congratulation

A.79 - A.134 Family papers and correspondence

(The Taylor family, A.79 - A.104)

(The Boole family, A.105 - A.134)

A.135 - A.174 Personal correspondence

Taylor, Sir Geoffrey Ingram (1886–1975), knight, physicist and engineer

Notebooks, Working Notes, Patents

The paucity of material in this Section is regretted. It derives in part from Taylor's idiosyncratic working methods which led him to make random jottings on any piece of paper that came to hand; the folder in B.3 is characteristic, and many of the letters, committee papers and other documents in the collection bear notes, drawings and calculations of this kind. Even so, it is probable that many other notebooks have not survived.

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