Thomas Gerald Pickavance

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Thomas Gerald Pickavance CBE, FRS (19 October 1915 – 12 November 1991) was a British nuclear physicist who was a leading authority on the design and use of particle accelerators. He was generally known as Gerry Pickavance.

He was born in St Helens, the son of estate agent William and Ethel Pickavance[1] and was educated at the University of Liverpool.

He worked on the development of the University of Liverpool cyclotron and carried out research with it on the Tube Alloys project during the Second World War. He was later put in charge of the construction of the Harwell cyclotron and made leader of the Accelerator Group there.[2]

During his time at Harwell he led research into new accelerators which led to the installation in 1957 of the 50 MeV proton linear accelerator and the 8 GeV Nimrod Proton synchrotron at the new Rutherford Laboratory at Harwell, where Pickavance was appointed the first Director. He was later Director of the Nuclear Physics Division of the Science Research Council and Chairman of the European Committee on Future Accelerators.[2]

In 1965 he was made a Commander of the British Empire[3] and in 1976 elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.[2] In 1979 he was awarded the Glazebrook Medal by the Institute of Physics.

He died in 1991. He had married Alice Boulton and had 2 sons and a daughter.


  1. ^ "Thomas Gerald Pickavance. 19 October 1915-12 November 1991". JSTOR 770183. 
  2. ^ a b c "Fellows Details". royal Society. Retrieved 3 December 2015. 
  3. ^ "No. 43529". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1965. p. 11. 
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