Manchester Physics Research Paper

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The School has been awarded the highest possible score of 24 points in the most recent Teaching Quality Assessment, or Subject Review, carried out by The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). Our degree courses have been fully accredited by the Institute of Physics. These independent bodies concluded that the School is achieving its aims and objectives.

The School has high academic standards, set and monitored by our Teaching committee, with a curriculum which is relevant and demanding. Our reputation ensures that we attract high quality students. In addition the Teaching Research and Innovation Group considers innovative pedagogy with the aim of improving the student learning experience. Recent Physics Education Research by the group includes gender issues and investigation of student attitudes to learning in relation to the development of independent learners. Staff from the School have written The Manchester Physics Series, a set of 14 undergraduate textbooks published by Wiley. The series has been very successful with total sales of more than a quarter of a million textbooks; their quality is demonstrated by the reviews which they have received.

This is a list of University of Manchester people. Many famous or notable people have worked or studied at the Victoria University of Manchester and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology institutions, which combined in 2004 to form the University of Manchester.

The following list includes the names of all 25 Nobel prize laureates among them (in bold print).

Fine and applied arts[edit]


  • Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, British architect, (Pritzker Prize 1999, Stirling Prize 1998, 2004), designed among others the Swiss Re Building, Millennium Bridge, HSBC Hong Kong headquarters building, Commerzbank Tower, Millau Viaduct, Reichstag dome and the (proposed) Tower 2 of the World Trade Center
  • Rod Hackney, British architect, past president of Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Stephen Hodder, English architect, winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize in 1996
  • Edward Hubbard, English architectural historian
  • Leslie Martin, leading advocate of the International Style
  • Dalibor Vesely, architect (RIBA Annie Spink Award for Excellence in Architectural Education 2006)
  • Alfred Waterhouse, English architect associated with the VictorianGothic revival and probably best known for his design for the Natural History Museum in London and the Town Hall in Manchester
  • Paul Waterhouse, son of Alfred Waterhouse. He designed Girton College at Cambridge University as well as the Manchester Museum, Refuge Assurance Building, the Christie Library and the Whitworth Hall in Manchester.


  • Martin Amis, British novelist and author of some of Britain's best-known modern literature, particularly Money (1986) and London Fields (1989). Professor of Creative Writing
  • Louis de Bernières, born 1954. Writer whose novels include The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts (1990), Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord (1991), The Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman (1992), Captain Corelli's Mandolin (1994) (winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for best book) and Red Dog (2001).
  • Anthony Burgess, BA, English Literature, 1937–40. Writer and critic whose novels include the Malayan trilogy, the Enderby cycle, A Clockwork Orange, Nothing Like the Sun, Earthly Powers and The Kingdom of the Wicked. He produced acclaimed critical works on Joyce, Lawrence, Hemingway and Shakespeare, and studies of language and of pornography.
  • Miguel Esteves Cardoso, Portuguese writer and journalist[1]
  • Brian Cox (C. B. Cox) (1928–2008), professor of English literature, founder of the Poetry Centre[2]
  • Patricia Duncker, distinguished British novelist and Professor of Contemporary Writing at the University of Manchester
  • Terry Eagleton, literary theorist, academic teacher
  • Daniel Ford, American author and journalist
  • Alex Garland, born 1970, BA, History of Art. Novelist and script-writer. Author of The Beach (1996), The Tesseract (1998), The Coma (2004) and Sunshine (2007).
  • George Gissing, novelist
  • Sophie Hannah, award-winning poet and novelist
  • A.J. Hartley, Shakespeare professor and novelist
  • M. J. Hyland, novelist of Irish descent and winner of both the Encore Award and the Hawthornden Prize in 2007. She teaches at the Manchester Centre for New Writing.
  • Grevel Lindop, poet, academic and literary critic
  • Ruth Manning-Sanders, Welshpoet and author
  • Stephen Mitchell, Head of News Programmes, BBC
  • Michael Schmidt, poet and publisher
  • W. G. Sebald, German author
  • Alison Ruth Sharrock, Classics scholar
  • Francis Thompson, English poet
  • Colm Tóibín, Professor of Creative Writing, succeeding Martin Amis at the Manchester Centre for New Writing.
  • Barry Unsworth, British novelist who is known for novels with historical themes, Booker Prize winner with Sacred Hunger.
  • Alison Uttley, children's writer
  • Eugène Vinaver, French literary scholar specialising in the Arthurian cycle
  • A. W. Ward, literary scholar
  • Jeanette Winterson, Professor of Creative Writing


  • Edward Barton, songwriter and poet
  • Martin Butler, composer
  • John Casken, composer and professor of composition
  • The Longcut, English rock band who all attended Manchester
  • Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, composer, Master of the Queen's Music
  • Paul McCreesh, conductor
  • Ed O'Brien, musician in Radiohead
  • Mark Radcliffe, DJ on Radio 1 and Radio 2 and musician: Shirehorses and The Family Mahone
  • Ed Simmons and Tom Rowlands, musicians, The Chemical Brothers
  • Louise Wener, musician in the 1990s Britpop band, Sleeper
  • Tim Booth, lead singer of James

Theatre, cinema and broadcasting[edit]

  • Daniel Howell, YouTube personality, BBC Radio 1 presenter, Co-author of the New York Times Best-seller The Amazing Book is Not on Fire
  • Roger Allam, actor
  • Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain, television scriptwriting duo
  • Shona Auerbach, award-winning director/cinematographer of Dear Frankie
  • Robert Bolt, two times Academy Award winner and three times Golden Globe winner, screenwriter of Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, A Man for All Seasons, and The Mission
  • Philip Bretherton, actor
  • Lewis Brindley, studied chemistry, co-founder the Yogscast
  • Jessie Cave, actress
  • Debbie Chazen, actress
  • Parineeti Chopra, Bollywood actress
  • Jo Coburn, broadcaster
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, actor
  • Adrian Edmondson, comedian and actor
  • Ben Elton, comedian and writer
  • Gamal Fahnbulleh, news presenter and reporter
  • Peter Flannery, playwright and scriptwriter
  • Anna Ford, broadcaster, former university chancellor
  • Fra Fee, Northern Irish actor and singer
  • Pam Gems, playwright and feminist
  • Olivia Hallinan, actress
  • William Hanson, broadcaster and manners coach[3]
  • Charlotte Hawkins, television presenter and newsreader
  • Tony Hawks, comedian and writer
  • Mathew Horne, comedian and actor
  • Waldemar Januszczak, art critic and broadcaster
  • Toby Jones, actor
  • Charlotte Keatley, dramatist
  • Mark Kermode, broadcaster and film critic
  • C. A. Lejeune, film critic
  • Sarfraz Manzoor, journalist, documentary maker, and broadcaster
  • Rik Mayall, comedian and actor
  • Shazia Mirza, stand-up comedian and columnist
  • Mike Morris, television presenter and journalist
  • David Oakes, actor
  • Carolyn Pickles, actress
  • Olivia Poulet, actress
  • George Rainsford, actor
  • John Rawling, sport commentator and columnist
  • Sophie Raworth, newsreader and journalist
  • Jennifer Saunders, comedian and actress
  • Meera Syal, actress and writer
  • Stephanie Turner, actress
  • Tom Watt, actor and sports broadcaster
  • Jack Whitehall, comedian
  • Beattie Edmondson, comedian and actress
  • Josh Widdicombe, comedian and actor


Natural and applied sciences[edit]


Biology and chemistry[edit]

  • John Dalton, the founder of modern chemistry and atomic theory; one of the founders of UMIST.
  • Kathleen Mary Drew-Baker (Lecturer, 1922–1957), phycologist. She is celebrated as the Mother of the Sea in Japan for revolutionising the Japanese seaweed industry.
  • Raymond Dwek, biochemist
  • Sir Edward Frankland, analytical chemist; pioneer in organometallic chemistry
  • Arthur Harden (awarded Nobel prize in 1929), for investigations on the fermentation of sugar and fermentative enzymes
  • Walter Haworth (awarded Nobel prize in 1937), for his investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C
  • John Joule, chemist
  • Frederic Jevons, Professor of Liberal Studies in Science, awarded inaugural UNESCO Prize for Science and Technology Policy, 1992
  • Douglas Kell CBE, biochemist; former Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  • Brian John Marples (1907–1997), Professor of Zoology at the University of Otago 1937–1967[5]
  • Sir Kenneth Mather FRS, botanist and geneticist, Vice Chancellor of the University of Southampton 1965–1971
  • Barbara Mawer, biochemist and medical researcher
  • Gareth Morris FRS, Professor of Physical Chemistry
  • Stephen Oliver, Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Cambridge
  • William Henry Perkin, Jr., planned the new chemical laboratory building at Owens College in 1895.
  • Michael Polanyi, chemist, influential philosopher and noted polymath (father of Nobel laureate John Charles Polanyi). Chair of Physical Chemistry (1933–1948) and Chair of Social Studies (1948–1959).
  • John Charles Polanyi (awarded Nobel prize in 1986), for his contributions concerning the dynamics of chemical elementary processes.
  • G. S. R. Subba Rao, natural product chemist, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar laureate
  • Robert Robinson (awarded Nobel prize in 1947), for his investigations on plant products of biological importance, especially the alkaloids.
  • Sir Henry Roscoe, chemist who considered the foundations of comparative photochemistry, later Member of Parliament and vice-chancellor of the University of London.
  • Tony Ryan, polymer chemist at the University of Sheffield
  • Merton Sandler (1926–2014), professor of chemical pathology and pioneer in biological psychiatry
  • Carl Schorlemmer, organic chemist and Socialist
  • Michael Smith (awarded Nobel prize in 1993), for his fundamental contributions to the establishment of oligonucleotide-based, site-directed mutagenesis and its development for protein studies.
  • Edwin Southern inventor of the Southern blot which is a method routinely used in molecular biology for detection of a specific DNA sequence in DNA samples. (BSc Hons., 1958)
  • Marie Stopes, botanist and birth control campaigner
  • Sir Thomas Thorpe, investigated the relationship between substances molecular weights and their specific gravities, and his work on phosphorus compounds led to a better understanding of phosphorus trioxide.
  • Alexander Todd (awarded Nobel prize in 1957), for his work on nucleotides and nucleotide co-enzymes.
  • Chaim Weizmann, discovered how to use bacterial fermentation to produce large quantities of desired substances and is considered to be the father of industrial fermentation.
  • William Crawford Williamson, natural historian and paleobotanist
  • Derek Yalden, zoologist, president of The Mammal Society[6][7][8]

Computer science[edit]

Main article: School of Computer Science, University of Manchester

  • Sir John Fairclough, computer designer and Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government (1986–1990)
  • John Fitzgerald, Chair of Formal Methods Europe, Reader at Newcastle University
  • Steve Furber best known for his work at Acorn where he was one of the designers of the BBC Micro and the ARM 32-bit RISC microprocessor.
  • Carole Goble CBE, computer scientist and a leading authority on the Semantic Web. Recipient of the 2008 Microsoft Jim Gray e-Science award for contributions to e-Science.
  • Richard Grimsdale, electrical engineer and computer pioneer who helped to design the world's first transistorised computer
  • Tom Kilburn and Freddie Williams invented the Williams-Kilburn Tube, the device that enabled them to create the first ever computer that could store and execute its own program electronically, a fundamental feature of all modern computers. (See Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine, Manchester Mark 1).
  • Paul Layzell, Professor of Computer Science and Pro-Vice-Chancellor at UMIST
  • Phil Moorby developer of Verilog and recipient of the Phil Kaufman Award (MSc Computer Science, 1974)
  • T. William Olle, involved in the development of numerous data and process modelling programmes, including the extensive work for Manchester Mark 1 and Ferranti Mercury.
  • Alan Turing, one of the founders of Computer Science and AI, was a reader in the Mathematics Department. The ACM Turing award is named after him, as is the University of Manchester's Alan Turing Building and Alan Turing Institute. Also a pioneer of Mathematical Biology.
  • Freddie Williams, co-inventor the Williams-Kilburn Tube, see above Tom Kilburn.
  • Nandini Mukherjee, Indian computer scientist, researcher, politician and professor at the Jadavpur University.[10][better source needed]
  • Chai Keong Toh, inventor of Wi-Fi Ad-Hoc Mode, Associativity-Based Routing, and pioneer of Mobile Ad Hoc Networks.


  • Roy Chadwick, designer of the Lancaster bomber
  • George E. Davis, founded the discipline of Chemical Engineering with an influential series of lectures at UMIST in 1888, and a textbook on the subject.
  • William Fairbairn, Scottish engineer associated with water wheels and the Britannia tubular bridge but above all with a scientific approach to engineering. He was elected first Secretary of the Mechanics' Institute (precursor to UMIST).
  • Willis Jackson, Baron Jackson of Burnley, technologist and electrical engineer
  • Eric Laithwaite, principally known for his development of the linear induction motor and Maglev rail system.
  • Sheila Mwarangu, civil and structural engineer[11][12]
  • Osborne Reynolds, famous for his work in fluid mechanics. In 1886, he formulated a theory of lubrication (thus the Reynolds equation is named after him) and three years later he developed the standard mathematical framework used in the study of turbulence (Reynolds stress and Reynolds averaging are two of the many terms bearing his name). The Reynolds number used in modelling fluid flow is named after him. His students include J. J. Thomson, who discovered the electron.


Main article: School of Mathematics, University of Manchester

  • Frank Adams, leading figure in algebraic topology and homotopy theory. He developed methods which led to important advances in calculating the homotopy groups of spheres (a problem which is still unsolved), including the invention of the Adams operations.
  • M. S. Bartlett, professor of mathematical statistics from 1947 to 1960, made important contributions to the analysis of data with spatial and temporal patterns. He is also known for his work in the theory of statistical inference and in multivariate analysis.
  • Robin Bullough, professor of Mathematical Physics famous for his work on optical solitons.
  • Sydney Chapman developed important theory on thermal diffusion in highly ionized gases, magnetic storms, instability along magnetic neutral lines, noctilucent clouds and the fundamentals of gas dynamics. He held the post of Beyer Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.
  • John Crank, mathematical physicist, best known for his work on the heat equation, which resulted in the Crank–Nicolson method.
  • Harold Davenport, number theorist and worked in Manchester as a contemporary of Erdős and Mordell.
  • Paul Erdős, mathematician, he posed and solved many problems in number theory, a founder of the field of extremal combinatorics, of major importance in theoretical computer science. Held a post-doctoral fellowship.
  • Sydney Goldstein, one of the most influential theoretical fluid mechanicians in this century. He is best known for his work in boundary layer theory where the Goldstein singularity is named after him. He held the Beyer Chair.
  • Brian Hartley, best known for his work in group theory. His book Rings, Modules and Linear Algebra (written with T. O. Hawkes) is a widely used undergraduate text.
  • Douglas Hartree, Beyer professor, constructed a differential analyser at Manchester in 1933. Known for his development of numerical analysis and its application to atomic physics.
  • Ke Zhao, Chinese mathematician with major contributions in quadratic forms, the Erdős–Ko–Rado theorem and his breakthrough on Catalan's conjecture
  • Sir Horace Lamb, one of the six professors appointed when Manchester University received its Royal Charter (his chair was the Beyer Chair of Applied Mathematics, and Osborne Reynolds was given the Chair in Engineering). He made many important contributions to applied mathematics, including the areas of acoustics and fluid dynamics. Research on waves in layered media led to the discovery of Lamb waves.
  • James Lighthill, influential applied mathematicians of the 20th century, contributed to theoretical aerodynamics and aeroacoustics (e.g., Lighthill report and Lighthill mechanism). He is also founder of IMA and held the Beyer Chair.
  • John Littlewood, famous for his work on the theory of series, the Riemann zeta function, inequalities and the theory of functions. He held a lectureship from 1907 to 1910.
  • Kurt Mahler, spent several periods of his academic life at Manchester. Major themes of his work were p-adic numbers, p-adic diophantine approximation, geometry of numbers and Mahler measures.
  • John McKay, known for his discovery of monstrous moonshine
  • James Mercer, proved Mercer's theorem, which states that positive-definite kernels can be expressed as a dot product in a high-dimensional space.
  • Edward Milne, the study of radiative equilibrium, the structure of stellar atmospheres, theory of relativity and the interior structure of stars. He held the Beyer Chair and was President of the London Mathematical Society.
  • Louis Mordell, pure mathematician who made important contributions in number theory, and played an important role in the development of mathematics in Manchester. He was the first Fielden Professor.
  • Bernhard Neumann, spent more than a decade in Manchester. He is one of the leading figures in group theory.
  • Hanna Neumann, group theorist, later first female Professor of Mathematics in Australia.
  • Max Newman, combinatorial topology, Boolean algebras and mathematical logic. He directed the Colossuscryptanalysis program in WWII.
  • Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw, mathematician and politician
  • Narahari Umanath Prabhu, Indian-American mathematician, known for his contributions to operations research, in particular queueing theory
  • Lewis Fry Richardson, scientist who was the first to apply mathematics, in particular the method of finite differences, to predicting the weather (the father of CFD). He made contributions to calculus and to the theory of diffusion, in particular eddy diffusion in the atmosphere. The Richardson number, a fundamental quantity involving gradients of temperature and wind velocity, is named after him.
  • Alan Turing, became famous for his WWII decoding work at Bletchley Park, and for his theoretical and practical work in the early history of the stored-program computer. He is also remembered in artificial intelligence for his Turing test, and in biology for his innovative work on the mathematics of morphogenesis. He was a Reader in the Department of Mathematics, see also the entry under Computer science.
  • Peter Whittle, statistician who was working in the fields of stochastic nets, optimal control, time series analysis, stochastic optimization and stochastic dynamics
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein, best known for his work in philosophy undertook aeronautical research in Manchester. Needing to understand more mathematics for his research, he began a study which soon involved him in the foundations of mathematics.


Main article: School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Manchester

  • Hans Bethe (awarded Nobel prize in 1967), for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars. Research staff and Temporary Lecturer 1932.
  • Patrick M. Blackett (awarded Nobel prize in 1948), for developing cloud chamber and confirming/discovering positron. Director and Langworthy Professor of Physics (1937–1953).
  • Niels Bohr (awarded Nobel prize in 1922). Research Staff and Schuster Reader 1911–1916. Worked on structure of atom and first theory of quantum mechanics.
  • William Lawrence Bragg (awarded Nobel prize in 1915, along with his father, William Henry Bragg), for X-ray crystallography (their work led to the first discoveries of DNA and protein structures). Director and Langworthy Professor of Physics (1919–1937).
  • Clifford Charles Butler. Co-discovered strange particles in 1947 with George Rochester. Went on to be head of physics department at Imperial College and then vice-chancellor at Loughborough University.
  • James Chadwick (awarded Nobel prize in 1935). Student (BSc & MSc) and Researcher 1908–1913 (under Rutherford). Discovered the neutron.
  • Sir John Douglas Cockcroft (awarded Nobel prize in 1951), for his pioneering work with Rutherford and Walton, on the transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles. Born in Todmorden, he studied mathematics under Horace Lamb in 1914–1915 and received BSc and MSc in Electrical Engineering. Later he became Chancellor of UMIST and Director of BAERE (Manhattan Project Hall of Fame).
  • Brian Cox, physicist working at CERN and popularizer of science. Most notable for his physics documentaries on the BBC and as a member of a few popular rock bands.
  • Sir Charles Galton Darwin, (grandson of Charles Darwin) Schuster Reader in Mathematical Physics (1910–1914) working under Ernest Rutherford and Niels Bohr. He later became Director of the National Physical Laboratory.
  • George de Hevesy (awarded Nobel prize in 1943), for his work on the use of isotopes as tracers in the study of chemical processes. Research Staff 1910–1913.
  • Sir Arthur Eddington. Graduated in 1902 and became a lecturer in 1905. Founder of modern Astronomy. He made important contributions to the general theory of relativity and led an expedition team to validate it.
  • Victor Emery, British specialist on superconductors and superfluidity. His model for the electronic structure of the copper-oxide planes is the starting point for many analyses of high-temperature superconductors and is commonly known as the Emery model.
  • Jeff Forshaw, particle physicist and winner of the Maxwell Medal and Prize and the Kelvin Prize, gained his PhD at University of Manchester and is now professor of particle physics there.
  • Hans Geiger, Researcher 1906–1914, invented the Geiger counter and did the original "Rutherford scattering" experiment with Marsden (also the Geiger-Marsden experiment). Devised the famous Geiger ionization counter.
  • Andre Geim (awarded Nobel Prize in 2010), for the discovery of graphene
  • Danielle George, Master's degree in Physics at Manchester,[13] now a Professor in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and presenter of the 2014 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
  • James Hamilton, Irish mathematician and theoretical physicist, helped to develop the theory of cosmic-ray mesons
  • Edward Lee, built Britain's first infraredspectrometer and later served as Director of the Admiralty Research Laboratory.
  • Sir John Lennard-Jones, entered Manchester University where he changed his subject to mathematics in 1912. After First World War service in the Royal Flying Corps, he returned to Manchester as Lecturer in Mathematics, 1919–1922. Founder of modern theoretical chemistry. Lennard-Jones potential and LJ fluid are named after him.
  • Patricia Lewis, nuclear physicist and arms control expert, who is currently Director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR).
  • Henry Lipson CBE, FRS, known for x-ray diffraction and its application to crystallography, professor at UMIST 1954–1977.
  • Sir Bernard Lovell, Professor (1951–1990) and creator of the giant radio-telescope (the first large radio-telescope in the world with a diameter of 218 feet) at Jodrell Bank: pioneered the field of radio astronomy.
  • Sir Ernest Marsden was born in Lancashire in 1888. He won scholarships to attend grammar school and gain entry to Manchester University. It was here he met Rutherford in his honours year. Rutherford suggested a project to investigate the backwards scattering of alpha particles from a metal foil. He did this in conjunction with Hans Geiger (of Geiger counter fame), and it proved to be the key experiment in the demise of the Plum pudding model of the atom leading directly to Rutherford's nuclear atom. Rutherford also recommended Marsden for the position of physics professor at what is now Victoria University of Wellington.
  • Henry Moseley, who identified atomic number as the nuclear charges. He studied under Rutherford and brilliantly developed the application of X-ray spectra to study atomic structure; his discoveries resulted in a more accurate positioning of elements in the Periodic Table by closer determination of atomic numbers . Moseley was nominated for the 1915 Nobel Prize but was killed in action in August 1915 and could not receive the prize.
  • Nevill Francis Mott (awarded Nobel prize in 1977), for his fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems.
  • Konstantin Novoselov (awarded Nobel prize 2010), for his work on Graphene
  • Herbert Parker, medical physicist. He was a pioneer of medical radiation therapy and radiation safety, known for introducing the roentgen equivalent physical (rep)
  • Henry Plummer, astronomer who developed a gravitational potential function that can be used to model globular clusters and spherically-symmetric galaxies, known as the Plummer potential; Fellow of the Royal Society.
  • John Henry Poynting. Student 1867–1872; Lecturer 1876–1879. Left to become Professor at Mason College (which became Birmingham University). He wrote on electrical phenomena and radiation and is best known for Poynting's vector. In 1891 he determined the mean density of the Earth and made a determination of the gravitational constant in 1893. The Poynting-Robertson effect was related to the theory of relativity.
  • George Rochester discovered strange particles in 1947 with Clifford C Butler. Went on to become Chair of the Department at Durham University.
  • Keith Runcorn, PhD 1949, pioneer in the field of paleomagnetism.
  • Ernest Rutherford (awarded Nobel prize in 1908), for his investigations into the disintegration of the elements and the chemistry of radioactive substances (he was the first to probe the atom). Langworthy Professor of Physics (1907–1919).
  • Sir Arthur Schuster, Langworthy Professor of Physics (1888–1907), who made many contributions to optics and astronomy. Schuster's interests were wide-ranging: terrestrial magnetism, optics, solar physics, and the mathematical theory of periodicities. He introduced meteorology as a subject studied in British universities.
  • Balfour Stewart, Scottish physicist, who devoted himself to meteorology and terrestrial magnetism.
  • Joseph John (J. J.) Thomson (awarded Nobel prize in 1906). Studied and researched 1871–1876 (entered at age 14). Discovered the electron.
  • Charles Thomson Rees (C. T. R.) Wilson (awarded Nobel prize in 1927). Student 1884–1887. Invented the expansion cloud chamber.
  • Evan James Williams worked with Bragg and Blackett in the Physical Laboratories in the 1920s.
  • Sir Arnold Wolfendale, BSc 1948 and PhD 1954 in cosmic rays. Lecturer 1953–1956. 14th Astronomer Royal.

Physiology and medicine[edit]

The University of Manchester currently has 28 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.[14] Present and historical University of Manchester people notable for their contributions to medicine and physiology include:

  • John Charnley, orthopaedic surgeon, pioneer in hip replacement
  • Hilary Critchley, Professor of Reproductive Medicine/Honorary Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at The University of Edinburgh
  • Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England
  • Shepherd DawsonFRSE, psychologist
  • Julius Dreschfeld, leading British physician and pathologist at the end of the 19th century
  • Archibald Vivian Hill (awarded Nobel prize in 1922), for his discovery relating to the production of heat in the muscle. One of the founders of the diverse disciplines of biophysics and operations research
  • Ian Jacobs, gynaecologist and former vice-president of the University of Manchester
  • Ralph Kohn, British medical scientist and founder of the Kohn foundation. He was knighted in the 2010 New Year Honours for services to science, music and charity.
  • Sir Harry Platt, 1st Baronet, orthopaedic surgeon
  • Sir John Randall, developer of the cavity magnetron
  • Herchel Smith, a researcher at the University of Manchester, developed an inexpensive way of producing chemicals that stop women ovulating during their monthly menstrual cycle in 1961
  • John Stopford, Baron Stopford of Fallowfield, anatomist; vice-chancellor
  • Sir John Sulston (awarded Nobel prize in 2002), for his discoveries concerning 'genetic regulation of organ development and programmed cell death'. In 2007, Sulston was announced as Chair of the newly founded Institute for Science, Ethics and Innovation at the University of Manchester.
  • Raymond Tallis, gerontologist
  • David H.H. Metcalfe Academic General Practitioner, Professor Of General Practice University of Manchester, President Royal College of General Practitioners

Social sciences and education[edit]


  • Richard Beckman is a media and entertainment executive.
  • Tom Bloxham, founder of regeneration firm Urban Splash, Chancellor of the University of Manchester
  • Terence Burns, Baron Burns, Chairman of Abbey National plc and of Marks & Spencer
  • Jeremy Coller, CEO of Coller Capital, a British private equity firm
  • Andy Cosslett, CEO of Fitness First
  • Andy Duncan, Chief Executive of Channel 4 television
  • Keith Edelman, Managing Director of Arsenal Football Club
  • Chris Finlayson, CEO of BG Group from 1 January 2013
  • Rijkman Groenink, Chairman of the Managing Board, ABN AMRO
  • Steve Harrison, advertising creative and founder of Harrison Troughton Wunderman
  • Neil Kadisha, American-Iranian entrepreneur
  • Sir Terry Leahy, former CEO of Tesco, Chancellor of UMIST, co-chancellor of University of Manchester
  • Sir Christopher Needham, businessman and Liberal politician
  • Paul Pester, CEO of TSB Bank[15]
  • Brian Quinn, former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England and Chairman of Celtic FC board
  • Peter Rogers, Chief Executive of Babcock International Group plc
  • Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree, industrialist, sociologist and social reformer
  • Michael Sherwood, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs.[16]
  • Richard Solomons, CEO of InterContinental Hotels Group
  • Tim Steiner (businessman) (born 1969), businessman, CEO of Ocado
  • Aung Tun Thet, Myanmar economist and management consultant
  • David Varney, chairman, HM Revenue and Customs
  • Alan Wood, Chief Executive, Siemens plc and President of EEF the manufacturers organisation


  • Anthony Stafford Beer, British theorist
  • Richard Blundell, British economist, lecturer in Econometrics from 1975–1984, the recipient of the Yrjö Jahnsson Award in 1995
  • Terence Burns, Baron Burns, British economist and President of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research
  • David Forrest, applied economist and econometrician, Professor of Economics at the Salford Business School
  • John Hicks (awarded Nobel prize in 1972), for his pioneering contributions to general economic equilibrium theory and welfare theory.
  • Simon Johnson, British American economist, IMF Chief Economist
  • William White, Canadian economist, Economic Adviser and Head of the Monetary and Economic Department at the Bank of International Settlements. Chairman of the Economic Development and Review Committee at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • William Stanley Jevons, father of neoclassical economics, was appointed in 1854 to establish a Chair in Political Economy making Manchester one of the oldest centres for the study of economics in the United Kingdom.
  • Sir Jon Cunliffe, Deputy Governor, Financial Stability, Bank of England
  • Sir Arthur Lewis (awarded Nobel prize in 1979), for his pioneering research into economic development research with particular consideration of the problems of developing countries.
  • Masoud Nili, Iran's economics minister
  • Jim O'Neill, British economist and former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. As of 2014 he is an Honorary Professor of Economics at the University.
  • Joseph E. Stiglitz (awarded Nobel prize in 2001), for his analyses of markets with asymmetric information. Former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank, he is famous for his critical view of globalization and international institutions like the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank. Currently, Stiglitz teaches at Columbia University and heads the Brooks World Poverty Institute (BWPI) at the University of Manchester.


  • DameAlexandra Burslem, former Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Emanuel de Guzman, president of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines
  • Catherine Isabella Dodd, educational theorist, first woman on the academic staff of the Victoria University of Manchester
  • Susan Sutherland Isaacs, (née Fairhurst) (1885–1948) was an English educational psychologist and psychoanalyst
  • Eni Njoku, former vice-chancellor of the University of Lagos
  • Colin Riordan, President and Vice-Chancellor at Cardiff University
  • Brian Roper, economist and former vice-chancellor of London Metropolitan University
  • Roy Shaw, educationalist and public servant.
  • Ali Asghar Varsei, Iranian academic and the 8th chancellor of Imam Khomeini International University

Law, public administration and social welfare[edit]

  • Daniel Brennan, Baron Brennan, barrister, Deputy High Court Judge and a Recorder in the Crown Court
  • Hugh Emlyn-Jones, judge and politician
  • Samuel Finer, political scientist
  • Brenda Hale, Baroness Hale of Richmond, first woman to become a judge in the House of Lords
  • Raymond Ho, member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong
  • Admiral Sir John Kerr, admiral and Commander-in-Chief Naval Home Command in the Royal Navy and Pro-Chancellor of the University.
  • Dan Howell, Professional YouTube vlogger. Howell went to the University of Manchester in 2010 to study law, but dropped out in order to pursue video blogging as a profession.
  • Irene Khan, former Secretary General of Amnesty International
  • Sir Maurice Oldfield, Director-General of MI6
  • Rona Robinson, suffragette and first woman to gain a first-class chemistry degree in the UK.
  • Peter Smith, Judge of the High Court of Justice.


John Dalton, founder of modern chemistry and atomic theory
Ernest Rutherford, "the Father of Nuclear Physics" discovered the structure of the atom at the University of Manchester


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