EVANS, EVAN JENKIN (1882 - 1944), physicist and university professor

Name: Evan Jenkin Evans
Date of birth: 1882
Date of death: 1944
Spouse: Elmira Evans (née Rees)
Parent: Mary Evans
Parent: David Evans
Gender: Male
Occupation: physicist and university professor
Area of activity: Education; Science and Mathematics
Author: Edwin Augustine Owen

Born 20 May 1882 at Llanelli, son of David and Mary Evans. He received his early education at the county school, proceeding afterwards to the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, where he graduated in 1902. He then went to the Royal College of Science, South Kensington, London where in 1906 he took the Associateship. He remained in South Kensington, becoming demonstrator first in astrophysics and later in physics, and at the same time conducting research in spectroscopy. He retained his interest in this branch of physics throughout his life. He moved to Victoria University, Manchester in 1908 and seven years later became senior lecturer in the physics department. His thesis for the degree of D.Sc. of the University of London in 1915 is an important contribution on the ionised helium series. In 1919 he became assistant director of the Manchester laboratories and was in charge of the department during Rutherford's absence on war work in 1917. He played for many years an important part in the training and building of Rutherford's school in Manchester. He married Elmira, daughter of Captain Thomas and Mary Rees, New Quay, Cardiganshire, and they had 5 children.

In 1920 he was appointed to the Chair of Physics in the new University College of Swansea. Temporary accommodation was found for the department in the Technical College, while the new laboratories were being built. Evans gave much time to the design and equipping of the laboratories which were opened in 1922. Installed in the new laboratories he devoted his energies to building up a school of physics, laying great stress on training students in the methods of research, and particularly stressing the importance of accuracy of measurement. Many valuable contributions to scientific literature were made by students and members of staff under his stimulating leadership. He was a gifted and conscientious teacher. Towards the end of his life he became absorbed in the post-war problems of the universities. He died 2 July 1944, at New Quay, Cardiganshire.


Published date: 2001

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