William Penney

William Penney

WILLIAM GEORGE PENNEY d1991. English mathematician and professor of mathematical physics at the Imperial College London and later the rector of Imperial College. He had a leading role in the development of Britain's nuclear programme, a clandestine programme started in 1942 during World War II which produced the first British atomic bomb in 1952. As the head of the British delegation working in the Manhattan Project, he initially carried out calculations to predict the damage effects generated by the blast wave of an atomic bomb. Upon returning home, he directed Britain's own nuclear weapons directorate (codename Tube Alloys) and directed scientific research at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment which resulted in the first detonation of a British nuclear bomb (codename Operation Hurricane) in 1952. After the test, he became chief adviser to the newly created British government's United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA). He was later chairman of the authority which he used in international negotiations to control nuclear testing with the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. His other notable scientific contributions included the mathematics for complex wave dynamics, both in shock and gravity waves, proposing optimisation problems and solutions in hydrodynamics. He died in Oxfordshire aged 81 on March 3rd 1991

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William G Penney

Reference Number. 14039B


An original vintage 1958 index card, clearly signed and dated in ink by William Penney WITH original secretarial letter on UKAEA headed paper

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