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Encyclopedia > Patrick Blackett, Baron Blackett

The Right Honourable Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett, Baron Blackett, OM, CH, FRS (18 November 189713 July 1974) was a British experimental physicist known for his work on cloud chambers, cosmic rays, and paleomagnetism. The Right Honourable (abbreviated The Rt Hon. ... For other Orders see Order of Merit (disambiguation). ... The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order (decoration). ... The Fellowship of the Royal Society is composed of 1292 of the most distinguished scientists from the United Kingdom, other Commonwealth countries and the Republic of Ireland. ... November 18 is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years), with 43 remaining. ... 1897 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... July 13 is the 194th day (195th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 171 days remaining. ... 1974 (MCMLXXIV) is a common year starting on Tuesday (click on link for calendar). ... Experimental physics is the part of physics that deals with experiments and observations pertaining to natural/physical phenomena, as opposed to theoretical physics. ... A physicist is a scientist trained in physics. ... The cloud chamber, also known as the Wilson chamber, is used for detecting particles of ionizing radiation. ... Cosmic rays can loosely be defined as energetic particles originating outside of the Earth. ... Paleomagnetism refers to the orientation of the Earths magnetic field as it is preserved in various magnetic iron bearing minerals throughout time. ...


Graduating from Cambridge University in 1921 after a long stint in the British Navy, Blackett spent ten years working at the prestigious Cavendish Laboratory before moving to London (1933) and then Manchester University. REDIRECT [1] ... 1921 (MCMXXI) was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... The Royal Navy is the navy of the United Kingdom. ... Plaque The Cavendish Laboratory is Cambridge Universitys Department of Physics, and is part of the universitys School of Physical Sciences. ... Part of the London skyline viewed from the South Bank London is the most populous city in the European Union, with an estimated population on 1 January 2005 of 7. ... 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Manchester is a city in the North West of England. ...


Blackett was appointed to the Order of Merit and made a Companion of Honour, and in 1948 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics, for his investigation of cosmic rays undertaken at Manchester using his invention of the counter-controlled cloud chamber, confirming the existence of the positron and discovering the now instantly recogniseable opposing spiral traces of positron/electron pair production. This work and that on annihilation radiation made him one of the first and leading experts on anti-matter. For other Orders see Order of Merit (disambiguation). ... The Order of the Companions of Honour is a British and Commonwealth Order (decoration). ... 1948 (MCMXLVIII) is a leap year starting on Thursday (link will take you to calendar). ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Cosmic rays can loosely be defined as energetic particles originating outside of the Earth. ... The cloud chamber, also known as the Wilson chamber, is used for detecting particles of ionizing radiation. ... The first detection of the positron in 1932 by Carl D. Anderson The positron is the antiparticle or the antimatter counterpart of the electron. ... Antimatter is matter that is composed of the antiparticles of those that constitute normal matter. ...


During the Second World War, Blackett was instrumental in founding the field of study known as Operations research, which improved the survival odds of convoys, among other successes. During the war he argued strongly against the tactics of strategic bombing, using OR to show that it did not have the effects which military commanders thought it did (namely, that it did not "break the will" of the enemy nor did it significantly hamper their production capabilities). In this opinion he chafed against the existing military authority and was cut out of various circles of communications; after the war, the Allied Strategic Bombing Survey proved Blackett correct, however. In 1940-41 Blackett also served on the MAUD Committee which concluded that an atomic bomb was feasible. Combatants Allied Powers Axis Powers Commanders {{{commander1}}} {{{commander2}}} Strength {{{strength1}}} {{{strength2}}} Casualties 17 million military deaths 7 million military deaths World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a mid-20th century conflict that engulfed much of the globe and is accepted as the largest and deadliest... Operations research, operational research, or simply OR, is the use of mathematical models, statistics and algorithms to aid in decision-making. ... A convoy is a group of vehicles or ships traveling together for mutual support. ... Strategic bombing is a military strategem used in a total war style campaign that attempts to destroy the economic ability of a nation-state to wage war. ... The term strategic bombing survey refers to a series of American examinations of many topics related to their involvement in World War II. Some areas covered were the effectiveness of strategic bombing, medical treatment of casualties, inelegance/counter inelegance, and munitions construction and distribution. ... The Maud Committee was the beginning of the British atomic bomb project, before the United Kingdom joined forces with the United States in the Manhattan Project. ...


In the late 1940s, Blackett became known for his radical political opinions, which included his belief that Britain ought not develop atomic weapons and that the country had an obligation to improve the scientific and technological situations in its former colonies (especially India). Politically he identified himself as a socialist, and often campaigned on behalf of the Labour Party. Socialism is an ideology with the core belief that society should exist in which popular collectives control the means of power, and therefore the means of production. ... The Labour Party is the principal centre-left political party in the United Kingdom (see British politics). ...


In 1947, Blackett introduced a theory to account for the Earth's magnetic field as a function of its rotation, with the hope that it would unify both the electromagnetic force and the force of gravity. He spent a number of years developing high-quality magnetometers to test his theory, and eventually found it to be without merit. His work on the subject, however, led him into the field of geophysics, where he eventually helped process data relating to paleomagnetism and helped to provide strong evidence for continental drift. 1947 (MCMXLVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Earth, also known as Terra, and Tellus mostly in the 19th century, is the third-closest planet to the Sun. ... Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field: a field, encompassing all of space, composed of the electric field and the magnetic field. ... ... A magnetometer is a scientific instrument used to measure the strength of magnetic fields. ... Geophysics, the study of the earth by quantitative physical methods, especially by seismic reflection and refraction, gravity, magnetic, electrical, electromagnetic, and radioactivity methods. ... Paleomagnetism refers to the orientation of the Earths magnetic field as it is preserved in various magnetic iron bearing minerals throughout time. ... Portrayal of shifting continents The concept of continental drift was first proposed by Alfred Wegener. ...


Professor Blackett was appointed Head of the Physics Department of Imperial College London in 1953 and retired in July, 1963. The current Physics department building of Imperial College is named the 'Blackett Laboratory'. In 1965 Blackett was made President of the Royal Society and was created a life peer in 1969 as Baron Blackett, of Chelsea in Greater London. Imperial College London is one of the colleges of the University of London (although negotiations with regard to its withdrawal from the University have begun) and primarily focuses on science and technology. ... 1965 (MCMLXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link goes to calendar). ... The premises of the Royal Society in London. ... In the United Kingdom, Life Peers are appointed members of the Peerage whose titles may not be inherited (those whose titles are inheritable are known as hereditary peers). ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday For other uses, see Number 1969. ... Chelsea is a district of London, loosely defined by the area around the Kings Road, beginning at Sloane Square at one end, and the Worlds End public house at the other, the River Thames and the Victorian artists district to the south, and some parts between the King... Greater London is the top level administrative subdivision covering London, England. ...


Influence on science fiction

Blackett's theory of planetary magnetism and gravity were taken up by the science fiction author James Blish who cited Blackett's equation as the theoretical 'basis' behind his 'spindizzy' antigravity drive. Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... James Benjamin Blish (East Orange, New Jersey, May 23, 1921 - Henley-on-Thames, July 29, 1975) was an American author of fantasy and science fiction. ... The spindizzy is a fictional anti-gravity device invented by James Blish for his series Cities in Flight. ... AntiGravity is a group of New York gymnasts/performance artists. ...


References

  • Mary Jo Nye, Blackett: Physics, War, and Politics in the Twentieth Century (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004).

External links

Preceded by:
Howard Florey
President of the Royal Society
1965–1970
Succeeded by:
Sir Alan Hodgkin

  Results from FactBites:
 
Patrick Blackett, Baron Blackett - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (542 words)
In 1947, Blackett introduced a theory to account for the Earth's magnetic field as a function of its rotation, with the hope that it would unify both the electromagnetic force and the force of gravity.
In 1965 Blackett was made President of the Royal Society and was created a life peer in 1969 as Baron Blackett, of Chelsea in Greater London.
Blackett's theory of planetary magnetism and gravity were taken up by the science fiction author James Blish who cited Blackett's equation as the theoretical 'basis' behind his 'spindizzy' antigravity drive.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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