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 Willis Eugene Lamb Jr.

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Willis Eugene Lamb Jr. Famous memorial

Birth
California, USA
Death
15 May 2008 (aged 94)
Arizona, USA
Burial
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID
167835978 View Source

Nobel Prize Recipient. Willis E. Lamb, an American physicist, received world-wide notoriety after being awarded the 1955 Nobel Prize in physics. According to the Nobel Prize committee, he received the coveted "for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum." He shared jointly his Nobel Prize with Polykarph Kusch. He received 22 nominations for the Nobel candidacy. Born the son of a telephone engineer, he attended California public schools. In 1934 he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor in Science degree with a major in Chemistry. Continuing at the same facility, his major was in theoretical physics with Professor J. Robert Oppenheimer, which led to a Ph.D. degree in 1938 with the thesis "Electromagnetic Properties of Nuclear Systems." He accepted a post at Columbia University in New York City as an Instructor in Physics in 1938. This position led to becoming an associated in 1943, Assistant Professor in 1945, Associate Professor in 1947, and Professor in 1948. From 1943 to 1951, he was associated also with the Columbia Radiation Laboratory where his Nobel Prize research was done. During World War II, he was a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Radiation Laboratory. He had been offered a position with Dr. Oppenheimer working with the Manhattan Project, but refused. While at Columbia University, his research complimented Kusch's 1947 research. In 1951 he went to Stanford University in California as Professor of Physics. Between 1953 to 1954, he was Morris Loeb Lecturer at Harvard University. From 1956 to 1962, he was a Fellow of New College and Wykeham Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, England. In 1960, he was a visiting professor at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay, India and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at Kyoto University. Returning to the United States in 1962, he became Henry Ford II Professor of Physics at Yale University. In 1974 he became a professor of physics and optical sciences at the University of Arizona; he retired as professor emeritus in 2002. Besides the Nobel Prize, he received the Rumford Premium of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1953 and awarded National Medal of Science in 2000. The University of Pennsylvania conferred an honorary degree of D.Sc. upon him in 1954. He received the Research Corporation Award in 1955. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 1938 he married a German exchange student, who was earning her PhD at the University of California . His wife was a distinguished historian of Latin America. Being married to a German during World War II did present some professional problems. His wife died in 1996 of cancer and he married twice more, with the last one shortly before his death. He died from complications of gall bladder disease.

Nobel Prize Recipient. Willis E. Lamb, an American physicist, received world-wide notoriety after being awarded the 1955 Nobel Prize in physics. According to the Nobel Prize committee, he received the coveted "for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum." He shared jointly his Nobel Prize with Polykarph Kusch. He received 22 nominations for the Nobel candidacy. Born the son of a telephone engineer, he attended California public schools. In 1934 he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor in Science degree with a major in Chemistry. Continuing at the same facility, his major was in theoretical physics with Professor J. Robert Oppenheimer, which led to a Ph.D. degree in 1938 with the thesis "Electromagnetic Properties of Nuclear Systems." He accepted a post at Columbia University in New York City as an Instructor in Physics in 1938. This position led to becoming an associated in 1943, Assistant Professor in 1945, Associate Professor in 1947, and Professor in 1948. From 1943 to 1951, he was associated also with the Columbia Radiation Laboratory where his Nobel Prize research was done. During World War II, he was a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the Radiation Laboratory. He had been offered a position with Dr. Oppenheimer working with the Manhattan Project, but refused. While at Columbia University, his research complimented Kusch's 1947 research. In 1951 he went to Stanford University in California as Professor of Physics. Between 1953 to 1954, he was Morris Loeb Lecturer at Harvard University. From 1956 to 1962, he was a Fellow of New College and Wykeham Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, England. In 1960, he was a visiting professor at Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay, India and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science at Kyoto University. Returning to the United States in 1962, he became Henry Ford II Professor of Physics at Yale University. In 1974 he became a professor of physics and optical sciences at the University of Arizona; he retired as professor emeritus in 2002. Besides the Nobel Prize, he received the Rumford Premium of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1953 and awarded National Medal of Science in 2000. The University of Pennsylvania conferred an honorary degree of D.Sc. upon him in 1954. He received the Research Corporation Award in 1955. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. In 1938 he married a German exchange student, who was earning her PhD at the University of California . His wife was a distinguished historian of Latin America. Being married to a German during World War II did present some professional problems. His wife died in 1996 of cancer and he married twice more, with the last one shortly before his death. He died from complications of gall bladder disease.

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Carole Conrad
  • Added: 5 Aug 2016
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 167835978
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/167835978/willis-eugene-lamb: accessed ), memorial page for Willis Eugene Lamb Jr. (12 Jul 1913–15 May 2008), Find a Grave Memorial ID 167835978, ; Maintained by Find a GraveCremated, Ashes given to family or friend.