Prominent Figures

prominent figures in the history of Physics and Astronomy at Western University

As Professor Don Moorcroft notes in his History of Physics and Astronomy to 2003, "the birth of the physics department was marked by the arrival of Ernest Franklin Barker [1915-19] (Rochester, BA; Michigan, MA, PhD) as the first Professor of Physics."

Since the embryo was planted in 1915, both Physics and Astronomy have been blessed with faculty and staff members who have played roles in the growth of Physics and Astronomy not only at Western, but within Canada and internationally.

John Herbert Chapman fathered the Canadian space program.

Raymond Compton Dearle was the longest standing Head of the department.

Peter Allan Forsyth pioneered radio physics and played a major role at Canada's Communications Research Centre.

Harold Reynolds Kingston brought astronomy to Western.

Elizabeth Laird carved a place for women in physics.

We hope that you enjoy reading about these prominent historical figures who made the Department of Physics and Astronomy what it is today.