1-15 of 15 results  for:

  • Results with images only x
Clear all

Article

Bardeen, John (23 May 1908–30 January 1991), physicist, was born in Madison, Wisconsin, the son of Charles Russell Bardeen, an anatomist and dean of the University of Wisconsin Medical School, and Althea Harmer. Bardeen received his early education at an experimental school in Madison, and after skipping the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades he entered the University High School. He then transferred to Central High School, from which he graduated in 1923. In his youth Bardeen was a champion swimmer and billiard player despite a tremor that he had suffered since infancy. In 1924 he entered the University of Wisconsin, where in 1928 he earned a degree in electrical engineering with mathematics and physics as his minor studies. While an undergraduate, he worked in the engineering department of the Western Electric Company (the predecessor of Bell Telephone Laboratories). Bardeen received an M.S. in electrical engineering in 1929 from Wisconsin, having carried out experiments on the applied physics of radiation from antennas. In 1930 he went with one of his advisors, Leo J. Peters, to work for the Gulf Research and Development Corporation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There they worked to develop new techniques for analyzing maps of magnetic and gravitational field strength to facilitate locating oil deposits. Bardeen enrolled in 1933 at Princeton University, where he studied mathematics under the quantum physicist ...

Article

Coolidge, William David (23 October 1873–03 February 1975), physicist, inventor, and research director, was born in Hudson, Massachusetts, the son of Albert Edward Coolidge and Martha Shattuck, farmers. He grew up on a farm and briefly dropped out of school to work in a rubber factory; a few months there convinced him he had made a mistake. He completed high school and went on to earn a B.S. in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1896....

Article

Dryden, Hugh Latimer (02 July 1898–02 December 1965), physicist, was born in Pocomoke City, Maryland, the son of Samuel Isaac Dryden, a schoolteacher, and Zenovia Hill Culver. In 1907 the practicing Methodist family moved to Baltimore City, where Dryden’s father worked as a streetcar conductor for the rest of his life. In 1910 young Dryden saw an airplane for the first time, and, in his recollection, this prompted him to focus his life on aeronautics. He attended the Johns Hopkins University, receiving his B.A. with honors in 1916 and his M.A. in physics two years later....

Article

Einstein, Albert (14 March 1879–18 April 1955), theoretical physicist, was born in Ulm, Germany, to Hermann Einstein and Pauline Koch, who had married in 1876. In 1880 the family moved to Munich. There Hermann ran various industrial concerns, eventually managing an electrical business in which his younger brother Jakob provided the technical direction. The two Einstein families lived together in a large house in a Munich suburb. Albert Einstein and his younger sister Maria (Maja) grew up surrounded by Jakob’s electrical innovations. Jakob also provided young Albert with science textbooks, notably a seminal exposition of Euclidean geometry. Einstein went to a local primary school and then attended the Luitpold Gymnasium, a progressive secondary school. He succeeded admirably in all his subjects. Following elementary school practice, he received lessons in Judaism, the registered religion of his free-thinking parents. His mother had him study violin privately, and the instrument provided him solace throughout his life....

Article

Fuchs, Klaus Emil Julius (29 December 1911–28 January 1988), physicist and spy, was born in Russelheim, near Frankfurt, Germany, the son of Emil Fuchs, a Lutheran minister, and Else Wagner. Klaus Fuchs studied mathematics and physics at Leipzig University (1928–1931) and continued his undergraduate studies in physics at Kiel University (1931–1933). As a student at Kiel University, he joined, first, the Social Democratic party and, in 1932, the German Communist party. After the Reichstag fire in February 1933, and the attendant Nazi reprisals against the political Left, Fuchs went into hiding in Berlin for a few months, then migrated to Britain in September 1933. He continued his studies in physics at Bristol University, where he secured a position as a research assistant to Neville Mott. In his research Fuchs applied quantum physics to questions of the electrical resistance of metallic films, working with Bernard Lovell, who was later knighted for his achievements in physics. In 1937 Fuchs was granted a Ph.D. in physics at Bristol. A paper that resulted from his doctoral research, “A Quantum Mechanical Calculation of the Elastic Constants of Monovalent Metals,” appeared in the ...

Article

Goddard, Robert Hutchings (05 October 1882–10 August 1945), physicist and pioneer of rocketry and spaceflight, was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Nahum Danford Goddard, a businessman, and Fanny Louise Hoyt. After Goddard’s mother was diagnosed as suffering from tuberculosis in 1899, Robert, who had been attending Boston public schools, remained at home in Worcester until 1901. Fascinated by science, he filled his days with a variety of experiments ranging from plans for a mechanized frog hatchery to the manufacture of aluminum balloons and synthetic diamonds. He was particularly intrigued by speculative fiction, notably H. G. Wells’s ...

Article

Hale, George Ellery (29 June 1868–21 February 1938), astrophysicist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of William Ellery Hale, a paper salesman, and Mary Scranton Browne. As a young boy, Hale was fascinated by tools and optics. By the time he was fourteen, he had built a workshop/laboratory that included a steam-driven lathe, a microscope with a camera for photographing slide specimens, and a telescope; the steam engine and telescope he made by himself. Having developed a great interest in astronomy while still in high school, he mounted a refracting telescope on the roof of his house to observe and take photographs of solar phenomena such as partial eclipses and sunspots....

Article

Ives, Herbert Eugene (31 July 1882–13 November 1953), physicist and inventor, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Frederic Eugene Ives, a photographer and inventor, and Mary Elizabeth Olmstead. He attended public school in Philadelphia as well as the University College School in London, England, in 1892 and the Lawrence Sheriff School in Rugby, England, from 1897 to 1898. In 1898 he joined his father’s business, the Ives Kromskop Company, and spent the next three years designing and building various pieces of equipment for producing three-color negative photographs. He also attended the Franklin Institute Night School of Mathematics for a year before matriculating at the University of Pennsylvania in 1901. After receiving a B.S. from Pennsylvania in 1905, he accepted a teaching fellowship in physics at Johns Hopkins University, where he experimented with different methods for producing photographs in color. His work with the diffraction process, whereby lightwaves are bent around the close, equidistant, parallel lines of a diffraction grating and dispersed into the various colors of the visible spectrum, gained him the Franklin Institute’s Longstreth Medal in 1906 and a Ph.D. in physics in 1908....

Article

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (22 August 1834–27 February 1906), astrophysicist and aviation experimenter, was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the son of Samuel Langley, a wholesale merchant and banker, and Mary Sumner Williams. Langley attended the Boston Latin School and graduated from the Boston High School in 1851. He spent the years 1851–1857 preparing for a career in civil engineering and architecture and worked as a draftsman and merchant in Chicago and St. Louis from 1857 to 1864....

Article

Oppenheimer, J. Robert (22 April 1904–18 February 1967), theoretical physicist and director of the Los Alamos Laboratory (Manhattan Project), theoretical physicist and director of the Los Alamos Laboratory (Manhattan Project), was born Julius Robert Oppenheimer in New York City, the son of Julius Oppenheimer, a wealthy textile importer, and Ella Friedman, a painter. Although the family was of Jewish descent, they had no religious affiliations. The boy, known as Robert, grew up in a sumptuous Manhattan apartment whose walls were decorated with paintings by Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, and Paul Gauguin. In the summers he went sailing at the family estate on Long Island. He became interested in mineral collecting and sent letters to the New York Mineralogy Club, which, unaware that their learned correspondent was only twelve years old, invited him to present a paper. It was a success. Frail and bookish, he fared less well among people his own age, who often teased and occasionally tormented him. In 1921 Oppenheimer graduated from the Ethical Culture School of New York at the top of his class....

Article

Richtmyer, Floyd Karker (12 October 1881–07 November 1939), physicist, was born of German and Dutch ancestry on a farm near the town of Cobleskill, New York. His only sibling, an older half brother, Edgar Richtmyer, and Edgar’s wife Louise served as Floyd’s foster parents after the early death of young Richtmyer’s own parents. Upon graduating from high school in Cobleskill in 1900, he put himself through college at Cornell University by waiting tables and other menial employment. He received an A.B. in 1904 and that same year married Bernice Davis, with whom he would have four children, one of whom died in infancy. After teaching for two years at Drexel University in Pennsylvania, he returned to Cornell in 1906 for graduate study and received a Ph.D. in physics in 1910. In 1911 he joined the faculty at Cornell, where he spent the rest of his life, except for two sabbaticals and occasional summers spent at other universities....

Article

Shockley, William Bradford (13 February 1910–12 August 1989), physicist, was born in London, England, the son of William Hillman Shockley, an American mining engineer, and May Bradford, a mineral surveyor. When he was three years old, his family returned to the United States and settled in Palo Alto, California, where he received his early education. His interest in science was stimulated by a neighbor who was a physics professor at Stanford University. After graduating from Hollywood High School in 1927, Shockley spent one year at the University of California, Los Angeles, and then transferred to the California Institute of Technology, where he received his B.S. in physics in 1932. He obtained a teaching fellowship to support his graduate work and received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1936; the subject of his thesis was “Calculation of Wave Functions for Electrons in Sodium Chloride Crystals.”...

Article

Spitzer, Lyman, Jr. (26 June 1914–31 March 1997), theoretical astrophysicist and director of the Princeton University Observatory, was born in Toledo, Ohio, the son of Lyman Spitzer, a well-to-do businessman, and Blanche Brumback Spitzer. Young Lyman was educated in Toledo until he was fifteen, and then entered Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Under the tutelage of a kindly teacher, he developed a strong interest in physics. Reading the popular books of English theorists Arthur Eddington and James Jeans inspired Spitzer's enthusiasm for research in the grandest topic in astrophysics, the evolution of the universe. In 1932 he entered Yale, earning his B.A. in theoretical physics under ...

Article

Thompson, Benjamin (26 March 1753–21 August 1814), physicist and social reformer, known as Count Rumford, was born in Woburn, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin Thompson and Ruth Simonds, farmers. His father died before Thompson was four, and limited resources prevented him from receiving more than a grammar school education. He was essentially self-educated in the sciences. He was apprenticed in 1766 to John Appleton, a Salem merchant and importer....

Article

Van Allen, James A. (07 September 1914–09 August 2006), astrophysicist, was born James Alfred Van Allen in Mount Pleasant, Henry County, Iowa, the second of four sons of Alfred Morris Van Allen, a lawyer, and Alma Olney Van Allen, a schoolteacher. His paternal grandfather, George Clinton Van Allen, the son of a shipbuilder, was a surveyor for the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad who settled in Mount Pleasant in 1862, opening a law office that specialized in land titles. Alfred, educated at Iowa Wesleyan College and the State University of Iowa, followed his father in the business and Henry County politics. Alma was a farmer’s daughter from Eddyville, Iowa, who graduated from Iowa Wesleyan Academy and taught in a one-room schoolhouse. James later remembered his close-knit family as consciously aware of its relationship to those first trailblazing settlers who emphasized self-sufficiency, thrift, work, and education....