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Alfred Gavin Maddock
Born1917 (1917)
Bedford Park, London
Died(2009-04-05)5 April 2009 (aged 91)[1]
Alma materImperial College, London
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorHarry Emeléus

Alfred Gavin "Alfie" Maddock (1917-2009) was an English inorganic chemist, radiochemist and spectroscopist who worked on the Tube Alloys project and the Manhattan Project during World War II. Those projects resulted in the development of the atomic bomb. He also had a distinguished post-war academic career.


Maddock was born in Bedford Park, a garden suburb of London, and was educated at Latymer Upper School.[2][3] He won a state scholarship to study chemistry at the Royal College of Science (RCS), then a constituent part of Imperial College London. After his undergraduate education, he continued on to postgraduate studies at RCS under the supervision of inorganic chemist Professor Harry Emeléus. Those studies related to silicon hydrides, and he was awarded his PhD in 1942.

During World War II, he spilled Canada's (possibly the world's) supply of plutonium (about 10mg) onto a wooden laboratory bench. He pragmatically sawed it into pieces, ashed them, and recovered the plutonium by wet chemistry.[4]

  • Maddock, Mrs Margaret (17 August 2009). "Dr Alfred G. Maddock (Chemistry 1938, PhD 1940)". Imperial College. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  • "Alfred Maddock". 10 April 2009. Retrieved 15 November 2018.

Honours and awards[edit]

These include:[2]


  1. ^ Berry, Frank (10 April 2009). "Alfred Maddock (1917-2009)". Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b Maddock, A. G. (1997). "Preface". Mössbauer Spectroscopy: Principles and Applications. Horwood Publishing. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  3. ^ Adloff, Jean-Pierre; Kauffman, George B. (15 June 2010). "Alfred G. Maddock (1917–2009), An Inspired Radiochemist". The Chemical Educator. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  4. ^ Willis, E. H. (22 September 1996). "Radiocarbon dating in Cambridge: some personal recollections". Cambridge University. Retrieved 26 October 2018.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]