Herbert Wakefield Banks Skinner, FRS

Herbert Wakefield Banks Skinner, FRS

Male 1900 - 1960  (60 years)

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  • Name Herbert Wakefield Banks Skinner 
    Suffix FRS 
    Born 7 Oct 1900  15 Woodville Road, Ealing, Middlesex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Career From Wikipedia: Herbert Wakefield Banks Skinner (7 Oct 1900 - 20 Jan 1960) was a British physicist. He was born in Ealing, London the only son of George Herbert, a director of the shoemaking firm of Lilley and Skinner, and Mabel Elisabeth Skinner. He was educated at Durston House School in Ealing and Rugby School. In 1919 he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, gaining his B.Sc in 1922. He then did research there at the Cavendish Laboratory for five years, and was awarded a Ph.D. He then moved to the Wills Physical Laboratory in Bristol to continue his research (1927-1939).
    During WWII he was engaged on the development of radar at the Telecommunications Research Establishment and on the atomic energy project at Berkeley University, California. After WWII he became a director of the General Physics Division at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment in Harwell. The Russian spy, Klaus Fuchs, was a close friend and stayed with him in his house prior to Fuchs' arrest in 1950. Skinner was appointed Lyon-Jones Professor of Physics at Liverpool University (1949-1960).
    In March 1942 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. His candidature citation read: 'Wills Research Fellow and Lecturer in Spectroscopy. Associated with Ellis in early work on beta-ray spectra (1924) and with Kapitza on Zeeman effect (1925). Carried out experiments on excitation processes in gases (1926-7) and evaluated the excitation function for helium (1932). Distinguished for his work on the excitation potentials of metals and the emission and absorption of soft X-rays by solids (1932 onwards). Responsible for marked advances in the technique of soft X-ray investigations which have enabled him to show for the first time the details of the fine-structure of the emission bands and the absorption edges. His interpretation of his results has provided the only direct evidence for the existence of 'Brillouin zones' in metals and much detailed information about their properties. His work is characterized by experimental skill of high order and an acute understanding of theory.'
    He died in Geneva on a visit to the European Organisation for Nuclear Research. He had married Erna Abrahamsohn, an Austrian, in Bristol in 1931.

    From www.purbeckradar.org.uk:
    Herbert Skinner went to study for a degree at Cambridge in 1919, subsequently staying on to do some research at the Cavendish Laboratories under Rutherford. It was here that he taught himself glass blowing to improve equipment as required. In 1927 he went to Bristol University.
    Shortly before the outbreak of war, Skinner was one of the scientists recruited by Cockcroft to familiarise themselves with the Chain Home radar stations so they could act as nurse maids should war break out. Early in 1940 he joined the radar research in Dundee - shortly afterwards moving to Worth Matravers.
    Herbert Skinner was founder leader of the centimetric radar team. After a period of joint leadership with Philip Dee, Skinner led a team (Group 8) that provided many of the component parts required for centimetric radar, while Philip Dee took charge of centimetric airborne projects (Group 12) including Airborne Interception and H2S.
    He assembled crystal diodes for radar detectors by hand using his glass blowing skills to encase them. These crystal diodes were needed at the higher frequencies of centimetric radars. 
    Awards 10 Apr 1924  London Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Chamber of London, 10th day of April 1924, Born Without the Liberty of the City, to wit, at 15 Woodville Road, Ealing, Middlesex. Herbert Wakefield Banks Skinner Son of George Herbert Skinner Citizen and Cordwainer of London, came before the Chamberlain, the day and year aforesaid, and desired to be admitted into the Freedom of this City by Patrimony, in the said Company of Cordwainers because he is legitimate, and was born after the admission of his father into the said Freedom. The Admission of the Father is entered in the Book marked with the letter I.1. and bears the date the 20th day of February in the 59th Year of the Reign of Queen Victoria and in the year of our Lord 1896. Born 1900 7th October. Presented by Annexed Certificate. 
    Died 11 Oct 1960  Hotel Bernina, Geneva, Switzerland Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Probate 16 Dec 1960  Liverpool Find all individuals with events at this location 
    SKINNER Herbert Wakefield Banks of Terra Nova Croxteth Drive Liverpool 17 died 21 January 1960 at Hotel Bernina Geneva Switzerland Probate Liverpool 12 May to Erna Skinner widow and Elaine Auriol Skinner spinster. Effects 51928 0s.8d. 
    Buried Alperton Cemetery, Wembley, London Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I12659  Simpson & Elder
    Last Modified 16 Apr 2013 

    Father George Herbert Skinner,   b. 1872, Wellingborough, Northants Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Dec 1931  (Age 59 years) 
    Mother Mabel Elizabeth,   b. 1872, London Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1929  (Age 57 years) 
    Family ID F467  Group Sheet

    Family Erna Abrahamsohn,   b. c.1907, Austria Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Oct - Dec 1975, Chelsea, London Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 68 years) 
    Married Jan - Mar 1931  Bristol Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Children 
     1. Elaine Auriol Skinner,   d. 2012 or 2013
    Last Modified 16 Apr 2013 
    Family ID F469  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Herbert Wakefield Banks Skinner FRS
    Herbert Wakefield Banks Skinner FRS


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