Last week a member of the Faculty of Natural and
Mathematical Sciences brought in a very large, old, framed photograph which had
been hanging in the Physics Department for many years. Sadly, no one in the Department knew who it
was of but they felt it might be of interest to us here in the Archives.
My difficultly was trying to identify the young man in the
portrait. Judging by his clothes, his
moustache and his hairstyle, I estimated that the picture was probably taken
around 1900-1910. It was a large
photograph in a very fancy frame so he must have been important. So, who was he?
Well, I believe it is an early photograph of Charles Glover
Barkla who was appointed to the Chair of Physics in 1909. He remained at King’s for four years during
which time he published extensively on his research into x-rays. Barkla then
moved to Edinburgh and in 1917 he was awarded a Nobel Prize for this work.
Here is a later photograph of Barkla for comparison:
[By George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons]
Am I right, have we found a photograph of
Charles Barkla in his 20s?
by Frances Pattman, Archives Services Officer