But an article on rockets in the Daily Mirror in 1949 spurred him on to a job at the Rocket Propulsion Establishment in Westcott, Bucks. Peter won a place at London University and got his physics degree in 1959. In the 1970s, he developed magnetic resonance imaging, which reveals the internal organs - vital for early diagnosis of various illnesses.
Sir Peter tested his first scanner on himself. "The worst that could have happened was a cardiac arrest and my wife was on hand to haul me out," he said.
Now MRI scanners are used worldwide and have saved countless lives.