William Ernest Burcham, known almost always as Bill, was an experimental nuclear physicist whose research was chiefly concerned with nuclear reactions and with radioactive β-decay. As an undergraduate, research student and postdoctoral student he worked in the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge during the last few years of Lord Rutherford’s life. During World War II he was one of those who pioneered the use of centimetre wavelengths in airborne radar. As a university teacher after the war, first in Cambridge and then in Birmingham, he helped for more than 30 years to re-establish nuclear studies as an academic discipline in the UK.
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