Peter Hirsch

Peter Hirsch

Sir Peter Hirsch FRS
Born 16 January 1925 (1925-01-16) (age 90)
Fields Materials Science
Institutions University of Oxford
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Known for Transmission Electron Microscopy
Influences William Lawrence Bragg
Influenced Mark Miodownik[1]
Notable awards Franklin J. Clamer Medal (1970)
Hughes Medal (1973)
Royal Medal (1977)
Wolf Prize in Physics (1983/4)
Lomonosov Gold Medal of Russian Academy of Sciences (2005)
Fellow of the Royal Society

Sir Peter Bernhard Hirsch FRS (born 16 January 1925) is a leading figure in British materials science who has made fundamental contributions to the application of transmission electron microscopy to metals.[2][3]

He attended the Sloane School, Chelsea and St Catharine's College, Cambridge. In 1946 joined the Crystallography Department of the Cavendish to work for a PhD on work hardening in metals under Lawrence Bragg. He subsequently carried out important work, which is still cited, on the structure of coal.

In the mid-1950s he pioneered the application of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to metals, and developed in detail the theory needed to interpret such images. In 1965, with Howie, Whelan, Pashley and Nicholson, he published the seminal text Electron microscopy of thin crystals.[4][5]

The following year he moved to Oxford to take up the Isaac Wolfson Chair in Metallurgy, succeeding William Hume-Rothery. He held this post until his retirement in 1992, building up the Department of Metallurgy (now the Department of Materials) into a world-renowned centre.

Among many other honours, he was awarded the 1983 Wolf Foundation Prize in physics. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1963, and knighted in 1975. He is a fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford.


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  2. ^ "Personal Homepages Professor Sir Peter Hirsch FRS Emeritus Professor Department of Materials Oxford Materials". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. 
  3. ^ Wilkinson, A. J.; Hirsch, P. B. (1997). "Electron diffraction based techniques in scanning electron microscopy of bulk materials". Micron 28 (4): 279.  
  4. ^ P. Hirsch, A. Howie, R. Nicholson, D. W. Pashley and M. J. Whelan (1965/1977) Electron microscopy of thin crystals (Butterworths/Krieger, London/Malabar FL) ISBN 0-88275-376-2
  5. ^ Hirsch, P. B.; Howie, A.; Nicholson, R. B.; Pashley, D. W.; Whelan, M. J.; Marton, L. (1966). "Electron microscopy". Physics Today 19 (10): 93.