Sir Owen Willans Richardson, English physicist, early 20th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Sir Owen Willans Richardson (1879-1958) studied at Cambridge University where he undertook his famous work on thermionics. Richardson introduced the term thermionics to describe the emision of electricity from hot bodies. These studies earned the Nobel prize for physics in 1928 and he was President of the Physical Society from 1926 to 1928.