Cecil Frank Powell, FRS was a British physicist, and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and for the resulting discovery of the pion, a subatomic particle.
Powell was born in Tonbridge, Kent, England, the son of a local gunsmith, and educated at a local elementary school before gaining a scholarship to the Judd School, Tonbridge, which now has one of its four houses named after Powell, and awards the Powell Physics and Mathematics Prize to an upper sixth form student every year in his honour. Following this he attended Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, graduating in 1925 in the natural sciences. After completing his bachelor's degree he worked at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, under C.T.R. Wilson and Lord Rutherford, conducting research into condensation phenomena, and gaining his Ph.D. in Physics in 1927.
In 1928 he took up a post as Research Assistant to A.M. Tyndall in the H.H. Wills Physical Laboratory at the University of Bristol, later being appointed lecturer, and in 1948 appointed Melville Wills Professor of Physics. In 1932 Powell married Isobel Artner, and the couple had two daughters. In 1936 he took part in an expedition to the West Indies as part of a study of volcanic activity, and where he appears on a stamp issued in Grenada.
How much more must this be so in my own case for I am conscious not only of the great names and achievements of those who have preceded me, but also of the living presence of many of my masters and teachers.