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Scientific correspondence, 1934-1974


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The correspondence in this section is with individuals. Other letters relating to committees, publications, university matters, etc. will be found in the relevant sections.

With some exceptions the material is presented alphabetically, dated, and with an indication of the language(s) in which it is conducted. An indication of the content is given only when it is of special personal or scientific interest. Not all the letters survive, and a note has been made in the list below in cases where only Peierls's carbon copy remains. Cross-references are given to principal individuals, research or activities mentioned elsewhere in the collection, but when the correspondence deals with numerous projects and personnel within a department it has not been practicable to cross-reference them all.

The correspondence deals mainly with scientific matters, though it contains many personal and friendly references. Of particular interest are the long exchanges of letters with Hans Bethe (MS. Eng. misc. b. 202/C.15-MS. Eng. misc. b. 202/C.19), Niels Bohr (MS. Eng. misc. b. 203/C.29-MS. Eng. misc. b. 203/C.36), Nevill Mott (MS. Eng. misc. b. 211/C.213-MS. Eng. misc. b. 211/C.218) and Wolfgang Pauli (MS. Eng. misc. b. 212/C.234-MS. Eng. misc. b. 212/C.240), as well as the shorter correspondence with Max Born, R.H. Fowler, Werner Heisenberg, Lev Landau, George Placzek, Robert Oppenheimer and others. Peierls has drafted or approved the descriptive entries for these principal correspondents or collaborators of his earlier years.

In addition, the correspondence shows the activity and international reputation of Peierls's departments at Birmingham and, after 1963, at Oxford. His concern for the selection, scientific progress, pastoral care and subsequent career of his research students is constantly in evidence.


  • Creation: 1934-1974

Language of Materials

  • English

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Eng. misc. b. 202/C.1-217/C.359

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom