The Life and Legacy of Henry Moseley

Henry Moseley (1908), Trinity’s most famous physicist, is the subject of a new book, For Science, King and Country: the life and legacy of Henry Moseley (Uniform, 2018), which was launched during the Trinity Weekend.

The book, inspired by the exhibition ‘Dear Harry… Henry Moseley: A Scientist Lost to War’, at the Museum of the History of Science in 2015-16, is coedited by Russ Egdell, Emeritus Fellow (Fellow and Tutor in Chemistry from 1990 to 2014), with Roy MacLeod, Professor Emeritus of the University of Sydney, and Dr Elizabeth Bruton, of the Science Museum in London, and includes a chapter on his early life and education by Clare Hopkins, Trinity’s archivist.

Moseley’s work on the X-ray spectra of the elements provided a new foundation for the Periodic Table and contributed to the development of the nuclear model of the atom. His life and career were cut short when he was killed in 1915, aged 27, in action at Gallipoli. He was widely regarded as the most promising British physicist of his generation, and his early death prompted a reassessment of the role that scientists might play in war.

For Science, King and Country charts his brief career, military service, and lasting influence, in essays by eleven scholars, which explore Moseley’s life, work, and legacy, and draw on newly discovered archival material, artefacts, and interpretations.

Posted: 19 September 2018