Donald Hill Perkins

Donald H. Perkins ( born 1925 ) is a British experimental physicist. He is professor emeritus at the University of Oxford. He achieved great success in the field of particle physics and is also known for his textbooks.


Perkins studied at Imperial College London. In 1945 he received his Bachelor, 1948, the promotion. He then worked from 1949 at the University of Bristol in the group of Cecil Powell. 1955/56, he was in Berkeley at the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. In 1956 he received the post of Reader in Bristol. 1963/64, he conducted research at CERN. In 1965 he received a professorship at Oxford for elementary particle physics. There he built together with Ken W. Allen to the new Department of Nuclear Physics. 1976/77 and 1983/84 he returned again back to CERN. In 1998 he became Professor Emeritus, he is Emeritus Fellow of St Catherine 's College, Oxford.

In addition to his teaching and research activities Perkins also joined as a consultant in science policy in appearance.


At Perkins earliest achievements was the discovery of negative pions in the cosmic radiation (1947, ahead of Powell and Occhialini ), whose decay he examined. At Berkeley, he worked at particle accelerators, among other things, to K- mesons and the pair annihilation of protons and antiprotons at the CERN neutrino scattering experiments.

Important pioneering achievements and Erstentdeckungen he made with respect to the weak neutral current ( Gargamelle experiment ) and the experimental verification of quantum chromodynamics. After 1982 he explored the possible proton decay and found the first indications of neutrino oscillations.

In the applied field, he worked on the design of the HERA storage ring at DESY in 1961 and worked for the cancer treatment with pions.

1959 Perkins published his first textbook along with CF Powell was the theme of the emulsion technique at height beam experiments. His Introduction to High Energy Physics is one of the standard works of the world's particle physics. Most recently, he published in 2003 Particle Astrophysics.


Perkins received honorary doctorates in Bristol and the University of Sheffield. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1979 he was awarded the Guthrie Medal of the Institute of Physics, 1992, the Holweck Medal of the Institut Français de Physique, 1997, the Royal Medal of the Royal Society and in 2001 the High Energy Physics Prize of the European Physical Society. He has given numerous guest lectures at universities around Toronto, Seattle, Chicago, Hawaii and Victoria and, in 2004, the Wolfgang -Paul- lecture in Bonn.


  • With Cecil Powell, Peter Fowler The study of elementary particles by the photographic method: an account of the principal techniques and discoveries illustrated by at atlas of photo micrographs, Pergamon Press 1959
  • Introduction to High Energy Physics, Addison Wesley 1972, 4th edition, Cambridge University Press 2000 German translation High Energy Physics, Addison Wesley, 3rd Edition, 1991