Leslie Fleetwood Bates, British physicist, c 1950s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Bates (1897-1978) spent four years as a radiographer with the British army in India, from 1916 to 1920. During the 1920s he was introduced by A P Chattock to the study of magnetism and this became his main research interest for the rest of his life. He spent two years working under Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, completing a PhD thesis on long range alpha particles. In 1930 he was appointed Reader in Physics at University College, London, becoming Lancashire-Spencer Profesor of Physics at Nottingham University in 1936 where he remained until retirement in 1964. He was president of the Physical Society 1950-1952.