R V Jones

Listen to an extract of an interview here.

RV Jones was a renowned physicist who played a key role in the defence of Britain during World War II and is often referred to as 'the father of electronic warfare'.

Jones was born in London and studied physics at Oxford, gaining a first-class honours in physics and a DPhil. During the Second World War, he worked as a scientific advisor for British Intelligence and  Winston Churchill. Churchill is reported to have said 'he did more to save us from disaster than many who are glittering with trinkets'.  He was appointed science officer for the Air Ministry and served as Assistant Director of Intelligence from 1941-1946.

At the end of the war, Jones’ former colleague from the Air Ministry, Edward Wright (1906-2005), returned to the University of Aberdeen as Professor of Mathematics (and later Principal). He recommended Jones to apply for a post in the Natural Philosophy department. Although Jones was inexperienced in teaching, he was offered the post and became Professor of Natural Philosophy. He went on to enjoy a career of over thirty years as a gifted educator who was passionate about teaching and scientific history. He received many honours and continued in international and advisory work beyond his formal retirement in 1981.


Special Apparatus. Wooden box containing
optical instrument and power supply.
Instrument has a beam splitter at one end.
Electro-optics. 1970-1980. ABDNP:201172a
Coloured cardboard poster advertising
R.V. Jones' lecture
.ABDNP:201465a

The collection contains a range of instruments Jones used for teaching including microscopes, scanning infrared detectors made by Jones and Carl Zeiss camera lenses.


For more information on the University museum and archival collections please search the online catalogue