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Gustave Adolphe Hemsalech Papers

Date range: 1850s-1920s

Medium: Archive

Gustave Adolphe Hemsalech, physicist, was born in Lodz, Poland, on 25 May 1875. He moved to England in 1892, and from 1895 to 1898 was a student of Arthur Schuster at the Physical Laboratories of Owens College, Manchester. Hemsalech became a British subject in 1897. The following year he moved to Paris to study for a doctorate at the Sorbonne. His thesis was entitled ‘Recherches expérimentales sur les spectres d’étincelles’ (‘Experimental researches into the spectra of sparks’), 1901.

Hemsalech returned to England, working briefly for British Westinghouse, while continuing research at the University of Manchester. From 1905 until 1914 he was on the staff of the physical laboratory at the Sorbonne, before taking up a research fellowship at the University of Manchester, which he held from 1915 until 1921. Hemsalech’s special interest was the study of the spectra or light radiation emitted by metallic vapours under thermoelectric and thermochemical processes. He died in 1936.

The collection comprises a large number of letters and cards from fellow physicists and astrophysicists in Britain, France, Germany and the United States, including John August Anderson, Henri Becquerel, Niels Bohr, Arnaud de Gramont, Arthur S. King, Gabriel Lippmann, William Lockyer, Ernest Rutherford, Arthur Schuster and Charles de Watteville.

There are also a few photographs, offprints of articles by Hemsalech, papers relating to his naturalization, hand-written notes on his academic work, and some earlier Hemsalech family papers from the second half of the 19th century.

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