Thu 13 Dec 2018

Charles Bruce

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Charles Bruce

Charles Edward Rhodes Bruce (C.E.R. Bruce), MA., DSc., FIEE., FInstP., (1902 near Glasgow - 30 Dec 1979) was a Scottish astrophysicist and writer.

He was educated at Edinburgh University where he finished with First Class Honours in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy.

1924 he joined the Electrical Research Association (now ERA Technology Ltd) in Leatherhead, England, where he begun analysing the operation of oil circuit-breakers. An interest in electrical arcing developed into a study of lightning discharges, where

"Similarity between quantities he had calculated from first principles in his work on lightning, and values deduced from astrophysical observations, led Charles Bruce to the conclusion that most astrophysical phenomena could be interpreted as the results of electrical discharges on the cosmic scale. The idea totally captured his imagination, and he developed it with great vigour in a series of about fifty publications, being greatly encouraged in this work by two highly respected astrophysicists, Sydney Chapman at Oxford and F.J.M. Stratton at Cambridge."[1]

In 1952, he submitted his papers on electrical discharges to Edinburgh University and was subsequently awarded a Doctorate of Science. In 1959 Bruce's article "Cosmic Thunderstorms"[2] was awarded the Journal Fund Silver Pen Awards for Learned Publications.[3]


  1. Charles Bruce obituary from the Electrical Research Association
  2. CER Bruce, "Cosmic Thunderstorms" Jl. Franklin Inst., 268, pp. 425-445. Dec. 1959.
  3. Dr. C.E.R. Bruce, "On Celestial Mechanics", Pensée Vol. 3 No 1: (Winter 1973) "Immanuel Velikovsky Reconsidered III". Note: "Other activities", The American Political Science Review, Vol. 54, No. 3 (Sep., 1960), p. 843. "The Journal Fund, 200 West 7th Street, Plainfield, New Jersey [..] The awards make "a modest stand on behalf of the English language in learned publications. [They] are a little concerned with the hypotheses and viewpoints of scholars, the quality of their research or the importance of their subjects."

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