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H. Stanley Allen

Herbert Stanley Allen
BornDecember 29 1873(1873-12-29)
Bodmin, Cornwall, England
DiedApril 27 1954 (aged 80)
Balblair, Ross-shire, Scotland
NationalityUnited Kingdom
InstitutionsKing's College London, University of London
University of Edinburgh
Alma materTrinity College, Cambridge
King’s College, University of London
Academic advisor  J. J. Thomson
Harold A. Wilson
Charles Glover Barkla
Known forX-rays
Quantum mechanics

Herbert Stanley Allen (December 29, 1873 - April 27, 1954) was a pioneer in early X-ray research, working under J. J. Thomson at the University of London and alongside Nobel laureate Charles Glover Barkla at the University of Edinburgh. A supporter of the Parson magneton, Allen was also an early contributor to the field of quantum mechanics.[1]


As an undergraduate at Trinity College, Cambridge, Allen shared Whewell’s Court with fellow pupil Edmund Whittaker, earning his Mathematics B.A. there in 1896. After working at Cavendish Laboratory, Allen returned to Cambridge in 1898 to conduct research under J. J. Thomson on the motion of spheres through viscous fluids, useful in the determination of the elementary unit of charge. In 1900 he moved to Renfrew, where he researched spectral photography, the Zeeman effect, and radioactivity under Lord Blythwood. He was appointed lecturer in 1905 at King's College, University of London, where he obtained a D.Sc. in 1909 for his work on the discharge of electricity through gases.[2] He conducted this work under Harold A. Wilson and contemporary Charles Glover Barkla, whom he followed to the University of Edinburgh in 1919.

Allen’s 1913 book, "Photo-electricity",[3] was an early contribution to the study of radiation, focusing on his earlier work in photoelectric fatigue. Beginning in 1919, he contributed a series of articles favoring a modified version of the Parson magneton, a physical model for the electron originally proposed in 1915[4] [5] [6] Quantum theory was then in its infancy and Allen’s contributions were among the earliest to the subject.[7] [8] [9] [10]

Fellow academic Sir D’Arcy Thompson said of him, “Perhaps he does not realize how strongly he has endeared himself to his colleagues and his students by his own personality, his faith and vision…”[11] Allen died April 27, 1954 at the home of his daughter in Balblair, Ross-shire, Scotland.


  1. ^ William Wilson, "Herbert Stanley Allen. 1873-1954", Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, V1, pp. 5-10 (Nov 1955).
  2. ^ H. Stanley Allen, “Some Problems Connected with the Discharge of Electricity in Gases.”
  3. ^ H. Stanley Allen, Photo-electricity: the Liberation of Electrons by Light (London: Longmans Green 1913).
  4. ^ H. Stanley Allen, "The Case for a Ring Electron", Proceedings of the Physical Society of London, V31, N1, pp. 49-68 (Dec 1918).
  5. ^ H. Stanley Allen, "Optical Rotation, Optical Isomerism, and the Ring Electron", Philosophical Magazine, S6, V40, N6, p. 426 (1920).
  6. ^ H. Stanley Allen, "The Angular Momentum and Some Related Properties of the Ring Electron", Philosophical Magazine, S6, V41, N6, p. 113 (1921).
  7. ^ H. Stanley Allen, "Faraday’s 'Magnetic Lines' as Quanta. Part I", Philosophical Magazine, S6, V42, p. 523 (1921).
  8. ^ H. Stanley Allen, "Aether and the Quantum Theory", Proceedings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, V41, N3, p. 34 (1921).
  9. ^ H. Stanley Allen, The Quantum and its Interpretation, (London: Methuen & Co. 1928).
  10. ^ H. Stanley Allen, Electrons and Waves: An Introduction to Atomic Physics (London: Macmillan 1932).
  11. ^ D’Arcy Thompson, ‘’Minutes of the Meeting of the Senatus Acadamicus’’, (29 Jun 1944).

NAME Allen, Herbert Stanley
DATE OF BIRTH December 29, 1873
PLACE OF BIRTH Bodmin, Cornwall, England
DATE OF DEATH April 27, 1954
PLACE OF DEATH Balblair, Ross-shire, Scotland
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "H._Stanley_Allen". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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