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Geiger and Rutherford at work

Research history

The University of Manchester has an exceptional record of innovation and discovery.

In total, 25 Nobel laureates have worked or studied at the University, and many of the advances of the 20th century began here. The nuclear age was born in Manchester with Ernest Rutherford's pioneering research that led to the splitting of the atom.

The computer revolution began in Manchester in June 1948 when a machine built by Tom Kilburn and Sir Freddie Williams, known affectionately as 'The Baby', ran its first stored programme. Artificial intelligence was also pioneered here by Alan Turing.

It was here that WS Jevons formulated the principles of modern economics, while fellow economist Arthur Lewis became the first black professor at a British university when he joined us. Lewis published his most influential works while at Manchester.

At Jodrell Bank in Cheshire a young Bernard Lovell built the world's largest steerable radio telescope just after World War II. Fittingly, Jodrell Bank will be the central control hub for the world’s largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array.

The catalogue of virtuosity goes on and on. Professors Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov became our 24th and 25th Nobel Prize winners when they won the award for Physics in 2010.