Elected: 1950
Dr John Iball FRSE
John Iball was born in Hasland, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on 1 February 1907. From 1919 to 1925 he attended Alun County School, Mold, Flintshire. It was there that John was drawn to Physics by the enthusiasm of Mr Gordon Oliver. As a consequence, when he left school he went to read Physics and Mathematics at the College of North Wales, Bangor (University of Wales). He graduated in 1928 with a 1st class degree in Physics. The following year he obtained a Diploma in Education and thereafter an award of a Research Scholarship followed by a University of Wales Studentship.

As a research student he was supervised by Professor Edwin A Owen and this provided an introduction to his lifelong interest in the study of crystal structures by X-ray analysis. He was awarded an MSc in 1930 and a PhD in 1932. His PhD thesis was entitled ‘The effect of heat treatment upon the structure of alloys with special reference to the Al-Zn and the Cu-Sn systems’. It describes the remarkably precise determination of atomic spacings from powder photographs.

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