Hartree, Douglas R. (Douglas Rayner), 1897-1958

Alternative names
Birth 1897-03-27
Death 1958-02-12

Biographical notes:

Hartree was born in Cambridge and educated at Bedales School, 1910-1915. He entered St John's College, Cambridge in 1915 but his course was interrupted by war and he joined the team led by A.V. Hill which was studying anti-aircraft gunnery. He returned to Cambridge after the war, graduating in 1921, Mathematical Tripos Part I, Natural Sciences Tripos (Physics) Part II. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1926. He was a Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, 1924-1927, and Christ's College, Cambridge, 1928-1929. He then moved to Manchester University where he was successively Beyer Professor of Applied Mathematics, 1929-1937, and Professor of Theoretical Physics, 1937-1946, though during the Second World War he was mainly on secondment working on the scientific staff of the Ministry of Supply. In 1946 he returned to Cambridge University as Plummer Professor of Mathematical Physics, a post he held until his death. His principal research interests were atomic structure, propagation of radio waves and numerical analysis and calculating machines. He was elected FRS in 1932.

From the guide to the Papers and correspondence of Douglas Rayner Hartree, 1897-1958, 1932-1950, (Christ's College Library, University of Cambridge)

Douglas Rayner Hartree (1897-1958), scientist, was born on 27 March 1897 in Cambridge, and educated at Bedales School. In 1915 he entered St John's College, Cambridge, but after a year abandoned his studies to work in a team developing the new science of anti-aircraft gunnery. After the First World War he completed his university courses, and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1926. He was elected fellow of St John's (1924-1927) and of Christ's College (1928-1929), before being appointed to the chair of applied mathematics (1929-1937) and of theoretical physics (1937-1945) at the University of Manchester. In 1946 he became Plummer professor of mathematical physics at Cambridge, a chair which he held until his death, and was again a fellow of Christ's. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1932.

From the guide to the Douglas Rayner Hartree: Calculations on Schubaurer's Ellipse, 1930s-1986, (Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives)


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