Record

Ref NoDM1310
Alt Ref NoDM1837
TitleSir (Frederick) Charles Frank Papers
DescriptionThis records describes papers in DM 1310 (84 archive boxes) and DM 1837 (65 archive boxes)

Charles Frank was born in Durban, South Africa, in 1911, although his parents returned to England very shortly afterwards. He was educated at Thetford Grammar School and Ipswich School and in 1929 entered Lincoln College, Oxford to read chemistry, graduating B.A. with first class honours in 1932 and receiving his B.Sc. a year later. Frank did D.Phil. research on dielectric loss in organic materials at the Oxford Engineering Science Laboratory and then continued his study of dielectric loss at Berlin-Dahlem under P. Debye, 1936-1938. On his return to England Frank worked with E.K. Rideal in the Colloid Science Laboratory, University of Cambridge but his research there was cut short by the outbreak of war and in June 1940 he joined the Chemical Defence Experimental Station, Porton Down, Wiltshire. In November 1940 Frank was transferred to the Air Ministry's Assistant Directorate of Intelligence (Science) at the request of its Assistant Director, and Frank's friend from Oxford, R.V. Jones. He spent the rest of the war with the Air Ministry. In 1946 Frank took a post in the University of Bristol Physics Department for research in solid state physics. Through sharing a room with W.K. Burton and N. Cabrera, however, Frank switched to research on crystal dislocation and his work with Burton and Cabrera was to demonstrate the role dislocations played in the growth of crystals. Apart from crystal defects Frank's wide-ranging research interests at Bristol included the mechanical properties of polymers, the theory of liquid crystals and the mechanics of the interior of the Earth. Frank was appointed Reader in 1951, Melville Wills Professor in 1954 and Henry Overton Wills Professor and Director of the H.H. Wills Physics Laboratory in 1969. Frank continued his research after formal retirement in 1976. Frank was elected FRS in 1954 (Bakerian Lecture 1973, Royal Medal 1979) and was knighted in 1977. He died on 5 April 1998. These papers were the gift of Sir Charles Frank's widow, Lady Maia Maita Frank (nee Asche), they were married in 1940, and Lady Frank died on 6 April 2009.

The papers cover almost all aspects of Frank's professional career. His research is documented from the early 1930s and the material covers a wide range of his scientific interests, including dielectric loss, crystal dislocations, properties of polymers, liquid crystals and geophysics. Wartime research is also represented, particularly work on rockets. There are notes, drafts and correspondence relating to Frank's published work, 1935-1988, records of visits and conferences, 1939-1987, and of the University of Bristol Physics Department, 1946-1986. A particular feature of the papers is their documentation of Frank's association with a large number of British, overseas and international organisations, including the Faraday Society, the Institute of Physics, the International Organisation of Crystal Growth, the Pugwash movement, the Royal Society and the Science Research Council. Also represented are local Bristol institutions, including Badminton School, Bristol Municipal Charities, and Queen Elizabeth's Hospital school. There is considerable material relating to Frank's extensive consultancy work for commercial organisations. The best documented is Frank's work for De Beers, for whom he served on the Diamond Research Committee which oversaw De Beers-funded diamond research in UK universities and which organised the Diamond Research Conferences. There are also records of consultancy work for British Rail, the US General Electric Company and IBM. Finally, there is a substantial scientific correspondence with friends, colleagues and former students, including N. Cabrera, J.D. Eshelby, R.V. Jones and F.R.N. Nabarro.

The material is presented in the order given in the List of Contents.

Section A: Biographical.
This section consists principally of Frank's own biographical material and records of his career, and family and personal correspondence. Some of Frank's non-scientific interests are represented in a subsection of Clubs and Associations of which he was a member or supporter.

Section B: Bristol University.
This section is chiefly Departmental and University administrative papers and related correspondence. Frank's service with the Colston Research Society is documented as is his contribution to the establishment of the Tyndall Memorial Lectures. The organisation of Frank's research and its funding through the Solid State Physics Fund, and his teaching duties are also represented.

Section C: Research.
Documents Frank's scientific research from the early 1930s. The material, principally manuscript notes, drafts, calculations and diagrams, covers a wide range of Frank's scientific interests including dielectric loss, crystal dislocations, properties of polymers, liquid crystals and geophysics. Wartime research is also represented in the section, particularly work on rockets.

Section D: Publications.
This section brings together notes, drafts, correspondence and other related material for Frank's published work, 1935-88. This material has been linked wherever possible to Frank's numbered list of publications which is reproduced as pp. 224-235 of the present catalogue. There is also an extensive sequence of editorial correspondence with publishing houses, learned societies and journals for which Frank acted as adviser, reviewer or referee. This sequence includes Frank's letters to The Times on scientific and non-scientific topics.

Section E, Lectures and Broadcasts:
This is a relatively small section. The material is mainly drafts for Frank's lectures and broadcasts (chiefly for BBC radio in the late 1940s).

Section F: Societies and Organisations.
This is the largest section in the collection. It documents Frank's association with 44 British, overseas and international organisations including the Faraday Society, the Institute of Physics, the International Organisation of Crystal Growth, the Pugwash movement, the Royal Society and the Science Research Council. Frank was also involved with a number of local, Bristol institutions including Badminton School, the Bristol Municipal Charities and Queen Elizabeth's Hospital school.

Section G: Consultancies.
This section comprises of material relating to Frank's work for commercial organisations undertaken 1949-86. The best documented is Frank's extensive work for De Beers for whom he served on the Diamond Research Committee which oversaw De Beers-funded diamond research in UK universities and which organised the Diamond Research Conferences. A short consultancy with British Rail, whom he advised on water-softening 1949-51, is well documented and consultancies with General Electric and IBM are also represented.

Section H: Visits and Conferences.
This section presents a chronological sequence, 1939-87, of some of Frank's many engagements, both at home and abroad. He made many trips to the U.S.A, frequently in conjunction with a summer consultancy, and served as Visiting Professor at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, La Jolla, California 1964-65. In 1979-80 he visited India as Raman Research Professor.

Section J: Correspondence.
This is a substantial section which includes several extended exchanges with friends, colleagues and former students. Among the correspondents are N. Cabrera, J.D. Eshelby, R.V. Jones and F.R.N. Nabarro.

Section K: References and Appointments.
This section includes material for Frank's service as External Examiner for the universities of Aberdeen and Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and correspondence and papers relating to his work as Assessor for the Royal Society's Paul Fund. This material is subject to restricted access.

Includes an Index of Correspondents and Organisations.

A detailed paper list or PDF document are available on request.

Access Points (Library of Congress Subject Headings): Frank, Sir Frederick Charles (1911-1998) Knight, Physicist; Cabrera,Nicholas. (fl 1940s-1980s) Physicist;
Eshelby, John Douglas. (1916-1981) Materials scientist; Jones,Reginald Victor. (1911-1997) Scientist; Nabarro,Frank Reginald Nunes. (1916-2006) Physicist; University of Bristol--Department of Physics; Institute of Physics; International Organisation of Crystal Growth; Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs;
Royal Society; Badminton School--Bristol; Queen Elizabeth's Hospital--Bristol; De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd; Rockets (Aeronautics); Crystal growth; Geophysics
Diamonds--Research; Physics
Date1905-1988
Related MaterialPapers of a Diamond conference, 1 box (DM 1139)
Extent110 archive boxes
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