Fonds MG 2006 - Albert Norman Shaw Fonds

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Albert Norman Shaw Fonds

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Fonds

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CA MUA MG 2006

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  • 1904-1952 (Creation)
    Creator
    Shaw, A. Norman (Albert Norman), 1886-1964

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1.8 m of textual records.
25 photographs.

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Name of creator

(1886-1964)

Biographical history

Physicist A. Norman Shaw was born in England and educated in Bermuda and Montréal. He graduated in mathematics and physics from McGill in 1908 and in 1911 he won the R.O. King Fellowship to Caius College, Cambridge. There he worked for two years as a research student at the Cavendish Laboratory under Sir J.J. Thomson. Shaw returned to join the staff of Macdonald College in 1913. In 1918, he transferred to the McGill Physics Department; he was appointed Chairman in 1935 and retired in 1952. Shaw's research work was largely in the area of thermodynamics. He passed away in 1964.

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Scope and content

Fonds documents Shaw's research and teaching activities, his work with associations, and the progress of his personal career. Shaw's research papers and reading notes (1909-ca 1924) include reports on zonal harmonics and electrodynamometer constants; a group of notes, graphs, photographs, letters and draft articles on tides in the lower St. Lawrence (1917-1924); meteorological tests at Father Point (1917); and an outline for a book on heat.

His university teaching is documented by lecture notes, supplemented by synopses, experiment outlines and assignments, for courses taught by Shaw between 1918 and 1934. These include courses in mechanics (1918), the kinetic theory of matter, and submolecular physics (1919-1920), molecular physics (1923-1924, 1928-1929), electricity (1919), thermodynamics (1920-1922, 1931-1934), thermoelectricity (ca 1931), and heat, light, and sound (1921-1922). Extension courses and popular lectures from 1919-1936 are covered by copies of approximately 18 lectures, occasionally with news clippings or correspondence attached, on molecular structure, electronics, relativity, heat, crystal structure, solar eclipses, and the social and historical dimensions of science.

Correspondence files deal with Shaw's involvement with scientific associations. These cover the American Association for the Advancement of Science's 1938 meeting in Ottawa, and the activities of the Canadian Journal of Research (1947-1950). Shaw's presidency of the Québec division of the Association Committee on Physics and Engineering Physics (1925-1926) is documented by correspondence, materials collected for the division's 1926 report, and reports of the Associate Committees annual meetings, 1923-1930. There is also a copy of Shaw's 1932 Presidential Address to Section III of the Royal Society of Canada.

The progress of Shaw's career is recorded by a few dozen letters regarding his appointment at McGill and his application for a post at Lehigh University (1911-1927); printed memorabilia of Cambridge events, photographs of Cavendish Laboratory associates, and about a half dozen brief notes from Sir J.J. Thomson; C.O.T.C. training materials (1914-1916); correspondence with William Bell Cartmel on ether drift experiments (1934-1938); club accounts; a few personal letters (ca 1930); and several photographic portraits of Shaw.

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  • English

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Material in English.

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0000-0256; 0000-0454; 1988-0080

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