Supreme position in British physics: The National Physical Laboratory and Cambridge, 1937–9
Bragg took up the position of Director of the National Physical Laboratory in November 1937, succeeding Joseph Petavel. He was not the NPL's first choice for the job; with his very limited experience of industrial research and abhorrence of administration, he was hardly the ideal candidate. Although Bragg may have appeared ‘overjoyed’ to get the NPL job, there was one other that he would have preferred, both on professional and personal grounds — the Cavendish Professorship of Experimental Physics at Cambridge University. He took up the Cavendish chair in October 1938.
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