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British Industrial History

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AERE - Atomic Energy Research Establishment

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The Atomic Energy Research Establishment (known as AERE or colloquially Harwell) near Harwell, Oxfordshire, was the main centre for atomic energy research and development in the United Kingdom from the 1940s to the 1990s.

1945 Founded by John Douglas Cockcroft.

The early laboratory had several specialist divisions:

  • Chemistry (initially headed by Egon Bretscher, later by Robert Spence),
  • General Physics (H. W. B. Skinner),
  • Nuclear Physics (initially headed by Otto Frisch, later E. Bretscher),
  • Reactor Physics (John Dunworth),
  • Theoretical Physics (Klaus Fuchs, later Brian Hilton Flowers‎‎),
  • Isotopes (Henry Seligmann) and
  • Engineering (Harold Tongue, later Robert Jackson).

Directors after Cockcroft included Basil Schonland, Francis Arthur Vick and Walter Charles Marshall‎‎.[1]

1954 AERE was incorporated into the newly formed UKAEA.

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