Early to mid 20th century research

Since becoming the University of Birmingham, our learning and research has contributed to the advancement of knowledge and its application.

Table of research facts by subject
Year Subject Fact
1905 Physics Professor Henry Poynting (the man who calculated the weight of the world) wins The Royal Society Gold Medal for his research on radiation.
1913 Science Madame Curie receives an honorary degree at Birmingham during which she is described as “the discoverer of radium and the greatest woman of science of all time”.
1922 Chemistry Francis William Aston receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the Mass Spectrometer
1937 Chemistry Sir Norman Haworth receives the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on carbohydrates and Vitamin C
1939 Mathematical Physics Rudolf Peierls, Professor of Mathematical Physics, and Otto Frisch write a paper, which calculates that a bomb can be made with uranium 235.
1941 Physics
Henry Boot receives his PhD after helping to create the first resonant cavity magnetron valve, which proved a decisive weapon against the submarine in World War II.
1942 Engineering Professor Fred Garner joins the University having pioneered the use of knock-rating, which led to the star classification of petrol.
1952 Medicine
(Paediatrics & child health)
Professor Charlotte Anderson and her team proved that the glutens in wheat caused coeliac disease, leading to the introduction of gluten-free diets.