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Conference: Physics and the Great War

Physics and the Great War

This event will be a one-day conference on the 13th June 2015 at St Cross College, Oxford on physics and its development during the First World War.

Arguably the First World War saw the greatest advent of new science and technology and the role of science in warfare than any conflict hitherto. On land the innovations of barbed wire, machine guns and eventually, tanks changed the nature of land battles. At sea, radio communications changed operation of surface fleets and the introduction of submarine warfare changed the nature of war at sea. This war saw also the advent of aerial warfare which was to change the nature of all future wars. This conference seeks to review the key ways in which physics and its mathematics changed the nature of conflict from various points of views: technical, historical and sociological.

Registration to attend this conference is free, but must be confirmed using the Conference booking form by Monday 8th June.

Confirmed speakers include:

Professor David Edgerton (King’s College London) – The Sciences and the Great War: Myths and Histories

Dr Elizabeth Bruton (Museum of the History of Science, Oxford) – Hydrophones and Piezoelectricity: Ernest Rutherford and Anti-submarine Innovations in the Royal Navy during World War I

Professor Adrian Smith (University of Southampton) – Warfare and Wind Tunnel: Engineers, Physicists and the Evolution of Combat Aircraft (1914-1918)

Dr Arne Schirrmacher (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) РOn the (Self-)Mobilization of Scientists in Germany, France and Britain: The Impact on Physics in War and thereafter

There will be a conference dinner at St Cross in the evening following the end of the conference with an after-dinner talk by Dr Adam Hart-Davis (science author and broadcaster). Although the conference itself is free of charge, the dinner carries a cost of £35 to attend Рbooking a place for dinner can be done here.

Details of the conference and how to register are at


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