Teaching Physics

  • Adrian Thomas
  • Francis Duck
Part of the Springer Biographies book series (SPRINGERBIOGS)


Edith was unusual to be a full-time lecturer in physics within a medical school. She gained registration as a Teacher of London University in physics, the first woman to do so, and was appointed as school examiner in Ireland. In 1902, when the Royal Free Hospital installed its first X-ray equipment, she was invited to provide the technical support, working with Florence who was employed as the medical electrician. Florence and Edith went on holiday together, making scientific observations in the caves of the Harz mountains and during a solar total eclipse in Spain. Gerald needed calculations on the stability of the Parsons’ marine turbines, which Edith carried out for him. Their other brother Robert was now a doctor in Australia. His wife suffered a nervous breakdown, and Gertrude went to assist the family, staying for about 10 years. In 1904, Edith at last gained the degrees denied to her by Cambridge University, by being awarded B.A. and M.A. ad eundem from Trinity College Dublin, in the first group to do so. A sponsored visit to colleges in America allowed her to observe alternative approaches to higher education. Edith and Florence joined the Lyceum Club for social and professional contacts.


Medical electricity Medical physics teaching American colleges Lyceum club X-ray equipment Parsons marine turbines Ad eundem degree Steamboat ladies 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrian Thomas
    • 1
  • Francis Duck
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, School of Allied and Public Health ProfessionsCanterbury Christ Church UniversityCanterburyUK
  2. 2.Formerly University of BathBathUK

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