Elected: 1931
Discipline: Physics and Astronomy
Sir William McCrea FRS FRSE FRAS
Sir William Hunter McCrea, always known as Bill, had a scientific career which spanned most of the great revolutions of 20th century astrophysics and cosmology. He made important contributions to essentially all aspects of these disciplines.

Bill was born on 13 December 1904 in Dublin, Ireland. In 1906, the family moved to England and they settled at Chesterfield where Bill was educated at Chesterfield Grammar School. He went up to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1923 and had a brilliant career there as Wrangler, Rayleigh Prizeman, Sheepshanks Exhibitioner and Isaac Newton Student. In 1926, he began his post-graduate studies with R H Fowler, which culminated in his key discovery that, contrary to prevailing prejudice, most of the mass of the Sun and stars is in the form of hydrogen

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