Curran, Sir Samuel Crowe, 1912-1998, Knight, physicist, Principal of University of Strathclyde

Identity area

Type of entity

Person

Authorized form of name

Curran, Sir Samuel Crowe, 1912-1998, Knight, physicist, Principal of University of Strathclyde

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1912-1998

History

Samuel Curran, internationally respected nuclear physicist and first principal of the University of Strathclyde, was born in Ballymena, County Antrim, his mother's home town, but spent his childhood and youth in Wishaw, Lanarkshire. After schooling at Wishaw High School, Curran graduated with first class honours in mathematics and natural philosophy from Glasgow University and joined the University Physics Department as a PhD student in 1934. He researched the diffraction of beta rays of radium and modified and reconstructed Geiger counters. In 1937, Curran moved to St John's College, Cambridge to continue his studies, and worked alongside his fellow student and future wife, Joan Strothers, in the Cavendish Laboratory. During World War II, they joined a small team developing the proximity fuse, which was highly effective in destroying enemy planes and V1 rockets, and radar installation. Curran was seconded in 1944 to the University of California in Berkeley to work on the separation of isotopes of uranium as part of the Manhattan Project (the development of the atomic bomb) and after a period on the staff of Glasgow University, he assisted with the development of a British hydrogen bomb at the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston in the 1950s. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1953. In 1959, he was invited to become Principal of the Royal College of Science and Technology and to lead the College to University status. He served as principal until his retirement in 1980. Curran was a scientific adviser to government and public bodies, and received many honorary degrees. He was knighted in 1970.

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Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

University of Strathclyde (1964 to date)

Identifier of the related entity

C0047

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1964-1980

Description of relationship

Curran was the first Principal of Strathclyde University.

Related entity

University of Strathclyde | Principal and Vice-Chancellor (1964 to date)

Identifier of the related entity

C0208

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1964-1980

Description of relationship

Curran was Principal and Vice-Chancellor, 1964-1980.

Related entity

Royal College of Science and Technology, Glasgow (1887-1964)

Identifier of the related entity

C0065

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1959-1964

Description of relationship

Curran was Principal of the Royal College of Science and Technology.

Control area

Authority record identifier

P0021

Institution identifier

GB 249

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Status

Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created by Victoria Peters, December 2009.

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