Elected: 1974
Discipline: Physics and Astronomy
Professor Ian Simpson Hughes FRSE
Ian Simpson Hughes was Professor of Physics in the University of Glasgow until his retirement in 1989, and was a figure of national importance in the development of Elementary Particle Physics.

He gained a BSc in Natural Philosophy in Glasgow in 1952, studying under Dee, Gunn, MacFarlane and Touschek, and proceeded to post-graduate studies in the same place. In so doing, he embarked on a research career in particle physics – arguably the most fundamental area of all physics which explores the basic building blocks of nature deep within the atom. His research employed the nuclear emulsion technique to study the properties of some of these fundamental particles and the polarisation of gamma rays from nuclear sources. Although a precise technique, the use of nuclear emulsions involved the painstaking scanning and measurement of photographic plates using microscopes over periods of many months and so the data collection rate was very slow.

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