Graphical version

Royal Holloway, University of London

TOLANSKY, Professor Samuel (1907-1973)


Reference code(s): GB 0505 PP22

Held at: Royal Holloway, University of London

Title: TOLANSKY, Professor Samuel (1907-1973)

Date(s): 1959-1972

Level of description: Collection (fonds)

Extent: 6 boxes or 0.06m3

Name of creator(s): Tolansky | Samuel | 1907-1973 | physicist


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born Samuel Turlausky in 1907; educated Rutherford College, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1919-1925, and Armstrong College, Durham University, 1925-1928; studied for Diploma in the Theory and Practice of Teaching, Armstrong College, Durham University, 1928-1929; Fellow of King's College, Newcastle upon Tyne, 1929-1931; Earl Grey Fellowship, 1931, enabling him to travel to Berlin, Germany; 1851 Exhibition Senior Student, Imperial College, University of London, 1952-1954; Assistant Lecturer, 1934-1937, Lecturer, 1937-1945, Senior Lecturer, 1945-1946, and Reader, 1946-1947, in Physics, Manchester University; awarded C.V. Boys Prize for contributions to optics by the London Physical Society, 1948; Professor of Physics, Royal Holloway College, University of London, 1947-1973; Principal Investigator to NASA Lunar Project; Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, National Gallery; Member of the Senate, University of London; Member of the Council, Royal Scientific Association; Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, 1947; Fellow of the Royal Society, 1952; Silver Medallist, Royal Scientific Association, 1961; Honorary Member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1966; Honorary Fellow, Royal Microscopical Society, 1970; died 1973.

Publications: editor of Practical handbook on spectral analysis (Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1964); An introduction to interferometry (Longmans, Green and Co, London, 1955); Curiosities of light rays and light waves (Veneda Publishing, London, 1964); Fine structure in line spectra and nuclear spin (London, 1935); High resolution spectroscopy (Methuen and Co, London, 1947); Introduction to atomic physics (Longmans and Co, London, 1942); Multiple-beam interferometry of surfaces and films (Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1948); Optical illusions (Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1964); Surface microtopography (Longmans, London, 1960); The history and use of diamond (Methuen and Co, London, 1962); editor of The human eye and the sun: hot and cold light (Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1965); Interference microscopy for the biologist (Thomas, Springfield Illinois,1968); The strategic diamond (Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh, 1968); Revolution in optics (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, 1968); Microstructures of surfaces using interferometry (Arnold, London, 1968).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers, 1959-1972, relating to publications by Tolansky on the subject of interferometry and diamond physics, including correspondence, 1959-1964 with publishers and editors; manuscripts, typescripts and proofs of articles, books, reviews and papers on scientific subjects, 1959-1972, including papers, correspondence and press cuttings on the demand and merit of women physicists, published in the Sunday Times, 1963, and book reviews written by Tolansky, including some press cuttings and covering correspondence, 1959-1963; copies of unpublished research papers, [1934-1947]. Miscellaneous material including rough notes, booklists and illustrations of crystal structures, 1952-1962, and photographs of experiments, [1934-1973].


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Arranged in sections as laid out in the Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

Open to all registered users of the Royal Holloway, University of London Archives.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be supplied, subject to the condition of the original. Requests to publish original material should be directed to the Archivist.

Physical characteristics:

Finding aids:

Handlist available in the Royal Holloway, University of London Archives reading room.

Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information:


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

No information at present.


Existence and location of originals:

Existence and location of copies:

Related material:

The Royal Holloway, University of London Archives hold a copy of a biographical article on Tolansky by Professor Robert William Ditchburn and Professor George Dixon Rochester (RHC RF138/4), and Tolansky's staff file (RHC AR162/24).

Correspondence and papers are held at London University Library (Ref: MS 827); correspondence with Professor Sir (Frederic) Charles Frank, Henry Overton Wills Professor of Physics at the University of Bristol, 1948-1949, is held at Bristol University Library (Ref: NCUACS 15/8/89 J222).

Publication note:



Archivist's note: Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in accordance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: Mar 2000

Editing | Publishing | Publishing industry
Experiments | Research work
Photographs | Visual materials
Physicists | Scientists | Scientific personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Press cuttings | Newspaper press | Press
Publishers | Communication personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People
Women scientists | Scientists | Scientific personnel | Personnel | People by occupation | People

Personal names
Tolansky | Samuel | 1907-1973 | physicist

Corporate names