Papers of Sydney Chapman, FRS
The papers consist mainly of biographical information assembled by Professor T.G. Cowling for his Royal Society Memoir of Chapman. There are also a small number of letters exchanged between Chapman and Cowling. Includes:
- (fols. 1-26) Memoir, by T.G. Cowling. (Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of The Royal Society, Vol.17, 1971); biographical note by Syun-I Akasofu on Chapman's personal and scientific life, 1970.
- (fols. 27-41) Correspondence on the location of Chapman's papers with S-I Akasofu, and with T.G. Cowling on documents passed on by him.
- (fols. 42-53) Correspondence between Chapman and Cowling 1962-1970 (mainly on corrections for The Mathematical Theory of non-Uniform Gases by Chapman and Cowling, 3rd. ed., revised with the co-operation of D.Burnett, 1970; also some autobiographical information).
- (fols. 54-64) 3 letters from Cecil Chapman (son) to T.G. Cowling, and notes on Cowling's draft for the Royal Society Memoir, 1970.
- (fols. 65-76) Miscellaneous correspondence with T.G. Cowling on Chapman. Correspondents include: Gordon Newkirk, David Crawford, P.C. Kendall, H. Levy, Esther Simpson, Cecily Tanner, and Donald Sadler. 1970-1972.
- Creation: 1962-1973
Language of Materials
Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. Eng. misc. c. 851, fols. 1-3].
MS. Eng. misc. c. 851 (formerly C.S.A.C 11/5/74)
Collection ID (for staff)
CMD ID 13340
Correspondence and papers of Professor Sydney Chapman, FRS, mathematician and geophysicist, (1888-1970).
Biographical / Historical
Sydney Chapman, FRS, (29 January 1888 - 16 June 1970) was a mathematician and geophysicist. He was born in Eccles, near Salford in England. He attended the Royal Technical Institute, Salford (now the University of Salford). In 1904 he entered Manchester University, where he obtained a B.Sc. in Engineering (1907) and a B.Sc. in Mathematics (1908).
Chapman persued his study of mathematics at Trinity College, and in his final year he was appointed Senior Assistant at the Greenwich Observatory, where he remained until 1914.
A pacifist, Chapman was exempted from military service, and returned to Cambridge as a college lecturer in 1914. He was asked to return to the Observatory in 1916, and he remained until 1918.
In 1919 Chapman was appointed Professor of Mathematics at Manchester University, the same year he was made a Fellow of The Royal Society. In 1922 he married Katherine Nora (they subsequently had three sons and a daughter).
In 1924 Chapman became Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College, London, where he remained until 1946. During this time he co-authored Geomagnetism with Julius Bartels and with T.G. Cowling The Mathematical Theory of non-Uniform Gases. No longer a pacifist, he undertook civilian war work, and in 1943-1945 worked for the army counil on problems of military operational research.
From 1946-1953 Chapman was Sedleian Professor of Natural Philosophy at Oxford University and a Fellow of Queen's College. After his retirement from Oxford he divided his time between the Geophysical Institute in Alaska and the High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado. He died in Boulder in 1970 after a short illness.
Other Finding Aids
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Given by T. G. Cowling through the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre, 1974.
- Papers of Professor Sydney Chapman, FRS, (1888-1970), mathematician and geophysicist
- Finding aid prepared by Jeannine Alton and Harriot Weiskittel
- Language of description
- Script of description