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Thursday, 15 November 2007, 12:00AM

Planes and pacifism: Activities and attitudes of British mathematicians during WWI

Dr June Barrow-Green

The First World War was the first time that war was fought in the air. Aircraft technology was in its infancy and mathematicians not only helped with the development of reconnaissance, fighter and bomber planes but also dealt with problems of anti-aircraft gunnery.  But not all mathematicians felt the same way about the war and in Cambridge a surprising number adopted a pacifist stance.
This lecture will describe some activities of British mathematicians during the war, at the Royal Aircraft Factory, the firing ground of HMS Excellent and in Cambridge, and consider the overall effect of the conflict on British mathematics.

This lecture was jointly held with the British Society for the History of Mathematics. For the other BHSM lectures, follows these links:
      19th Century Mathematical Physics, by Professor Raymond Flood, Dr Julia Collins
      and Dr Mark McCartney
      The Memoirs and Legacy of Évariste Galois, by Dr Peter Neumann
      Triangular Relationships, by Dr Patricia Fara
      Mathematics, Motion and Truth, by Professor Jeremy Gray
      Mathematics and the Medici, by Jim Bennett
      From World Brain to the World Wide Web, by Professor Martin Campbell-Kelly
      History from Below, by Dr Stephen Johnston
      The Celestial Geometry of John Flamsteed, by Dr Allan Chapman
      Mathematics in the Metropolis, by Adrian Rice

Dr June Barrow-Green
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15 November 2007

Planes and pacifism: Activities and attitudes of British mathematicians during WWI
Dr June Barrow-Green

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