Roland Dobbs

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(Edwin) Roland Dobbs (2 December 1924 – 24 October 2016) was a British physicist, best known for his work in physical acoustics.[1]


Professor Dobbs was educated at Ilford County High School, Queen Elizabeth's School, Barnet and University College London.


After gaining First Class Honours in Physics at 19 he was called up for radar research for the Admiralty, 1943-6, he was a research student at University College London, 1946-9, taking a PhD: 'The Viscosity of Liquid Alkali Metals'. and lecturer in Physics, Queen Mary and Westfield College, 1949-58. In 1977 he was awarded a D.Sc.

He was Fulbright Scholar, Applied Mathematics, 1958-9 and, Associate Professor of Physics, 1959–60, Brown University, U.S..

On returning home, he became AEI Fellow at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, 1960-4, Professor and Head of Department of Physics, University of Lancaster, 1964-73.

He then went to Bedford College, University of London as Head of Department of Physics, 1973–85 and Hildred Carlile Professor, 1973-90. Following the merger of Bedford and Royal Holloway College, he was Head of Department of Physics, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, 1985-90. On his retirement, he became Emeritus Professor.

He was also Vice-Principal, 1981-2 and Dean of the Faculty of Science, 1980-2; Chairman of the Board of Studies in Physics, University of London, 1982-5; Vice-Dean, 1986-8 and Dean, 1988–90, Faculty of Science, University of London.

He was appointed to the following visiting Professorships: 1966: Brown University, Rhode Island. U.S.A. 1969: Wayne State University, Michigan, U.S.A. 1977: University of Tokyo, Japan. 1983: University of Delhi, India. 1984: Cornell University, N.Y., U.S.A.

He was a member of the Physics Committee of the Science Research Council, 1970–73 and of its Nuclear Physics Board, 1974–77, and a member of the Physics Committee of the Science and Engineering Research Council, 1983-86. He was Convenor, Standing Conference of Professors of Physics of Great Britain, 1985-88.

His research interests were in various areas of condensed matter physics: metals, superconductors, condensed inert gases, and latterly Helium 3 as Fermi liquid and superfluid. He was noted for his research on the physics of helium-3, including its behaviour as a superfluid, and published what was regarded as the definitive monograph 'Helium 3' in its various states in 2000. (Oxford University Press) Other publications include: Solid Helium Three (Oxford University Press): 1993. Electricity and Magnetism (Routledge & Kegan Paul):1984 and Basic Electromagnetism (Chapman & Hall): 1993.

He died on 24 October 2016 at the age of 91.[2]


  1. ^ "Citation: Roland Dobbs: Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics". Acoustics Bulletin. Institute of Acoustics. 33 (1): 15. ISSN 0308-437X. 
  2. ^ DOBBS