Harold A. Wilson (physicist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Harold Wilson
Born Harold Albert Wilson
(1874-12-01)1 December 1874
Died 1964
Institutions University of Cambridge
University of Leeds
King's College London
Rice University
Cavendish Laboratory
University of Glasgow
McGill University
Notable awards Fellow of the Royal Society[1]

Harold Albert Wilson FRS[1] (1 December 1874 – 1964) was an English physicist.[2]


Wilson was born in York, the son of a railway clerk. His mother, Anne Gill, was the daughter of a farmer and innkeeper from Topcliffe. Harold had one sister, Lilian, who would marry Sir Owen W. Richardson.


Wilson was educated at Yorkshire College in Leeds, the University of Leeds and the University of Berlin.[citation needed]


in 1896 he was a colleague of English physicist J. J. Thomson in Cambridge, and performed one of the earliest measurements of the electron's charge. He was awarded his Doctor of Science degree from London in 1900, and was elected Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1901.[3] From 1901 to 1904, he was a student of James Clerk Maxwell the Cavendish Laboratory. He became a lecturer in Physics at King's College London, then professor at the college in 1905. In 1909 he was a professor at McGill University in Montreal. He joined the Rice Institute in 1912, becoming the first chair of the physics department. He spent a year at the University of Glasgow in 1924 before becoming a physicist for an oil company in Houston. He retired from Rice University in 1947.

Awards and honors[edit]

Wilson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[1] The Wilson Award at Rice University is named after him.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Thomson, G. P. (1965). "Harold Albert Wilson 1874-1964". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 11: 186–126. doi:10.1098/rsbm.1965.0013. 
  2. ^ "Biography of Harold Wilson". University of Glasgow. Retrieved 2008-09-02. 
  3. ^ "University intelligence - Cambridge". The Times (36583). London. 11 October 1901. p. 4. 
  4. ^ "Awards in Physics and Astronomy". Rice University. Retrieved 2012-03-31.