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Roger Edge Clapp Papers, 1919-1991 (bulk 1940-1991)

Description of Collection


American Institute of Physics. Niels Bohr Library & Archives.

Papers created by

Clapp, Roger Edge,

Size of collection

10 linear feet
20 manuscript box(s)

Short description of collection

This collection includes correspondence, proposals, patents, lecture notes, research notebooks and notes, unpublished articles, drafts of proposed publications, and a diary.

Language(s) of collection


Collection number:


Biographical Note

Dr. Roger E. Clapp was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on October 9, 1919. He graduated from Harvard in 1941 (A.B. magna cum laude, with highest honors in physics), and also received his advanced degrees from Harvard (A.M. 1942, Ph.d. 1949). While at Harvard he held a National Scholarship, a Parker Fellowship, a Coffin Fellowship, and an AEC Predoctoral Fellowship.

He was a staff member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory during the wartime period, 1942 to 1946. He worked on microwave scanning linear array antennas for the Eagle airborne radar bombing system and for the GCA ground controlled approach aircraft landing system. He did pioneering work on the theoretical and experimental understanding of radar reflections from the terrain, and wrote sections on this subject in Radar System Engineering, volume 1 of MIT Radiation Laboratory Series. In addition, this work at the MIT Rad Lab led to ten patents and two Radiation Laboratory reports. Most of these patents describe microwave antenna inventions.

From 1946 to 1949 he was a doctoral student at Harvard, writing a thesis under Professor Julian Schwinger on "A Variational Solution of the Nuclear Three Body Problem." In 1949 and 1950 he held an AEC Postdoctoral Fellowship at MIT in theoretical physics. For part of 1951 he was a research associate at the MIT Laboratory for Nuclear Science and Engineering.

Dr. Clapp was a senior physicist at Snow & Schule, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., from 1950 to 1952, and a contractor, U.S. Office of Naval Research, from 1952 until 1954. During the period of 1954 to 1978 he was self employed as a consulting physicist. A principal client was Ultrasonic Corporation, renamed Advanced Industries, Inc., later renamed AirTechnology Corporation, Waltham, Mass. Other principal clients were Airborne Instruments Laboratory, at the time a division of Culter Hammer, Inc., and Carter's Ink Co. Additional consulting clients included RCA, Sylvania, Bell and Howell Communications Co., Meyer Associates, Guidance Systems, Inc., and Raytheon Company. He joined MITRE Corporation in 1978.

His consulting work was in many fields, including radar, electromagnetic emission and propagation, radiometric receiving techniques, antenna design, electrical discharge phenomena, and optical instrumentation. At the same time he devoted part of his time and attention to a personal program of long range research in gravitation and the elementary particle theory and in biophysics.

At MITRE he worked on many radar problems, in fields including multistatic radar and over the horizon backscatter radar; on error correcting coding; on multibeam antennas for microwaves; on low frequency antennas for communications; and on a foundation supported program in theoretical biology. He was project leader for a Mission-Oriented Investigation and Experimentation program on multibeam lens antennas which has led to two patents granted to the air force, and to a published paper chosen by the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society to receive the 1985 H.A. Wheeler Application Prize Paper Award.

Dr. Clapp was a member of the American Physical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Phi Beta Kappa.

Scope and Contents of Collection

The papers of Roger Edge Clapp span his entire life, from 1919 to 1991, with the bulk of the collection between 1940 and 1991. The Biographical and Employment materials priarily document Clapp's work at the MIT Radiation Lab. Notebooks on gravitation, proposals, peer reviews, correspondence, and unpublished articles extensively document Clapp's research and theories.

Topics covered in the collection include gravitation, elementary particle theory, biophysics, cell wall molecular operation, nerve cell electrical communication, mobius theory of electron excitation, non-impact printing-electrophoresis, electron orbits, philosophy, and plant growth.

Restrictions on Use and Access

Researchers must have an approved access application on file in order to access archival materials.

Selected Search Terms

These papers have been indexed in the International Catalog of Sources for History of Physics and Allied Sciences (ICOS) using the following terms. Those seeking related materials should search under these terms.


Adomian, G.
Bishop, Amasa S.
Brooks, Harvey
Dyson, Freeman J.
Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955
Fang, Pao-hsien, 1923-
Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988
Goudsmit, Samuel Abraham, 1902-
Huang, Luc
Pasternack, Simon
Rossi, Bruno Benedetto, 1905-
Ruark, Arthur Edward, 1899-
Rudner, Richard S.
Satchler, G. R. (George Raymond)
Schwinger, Julian, 1918-1994
Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, 1908-2002
Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008
Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-
de Hoffman, Frederic


Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Laboratory for Nuclear Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Radiation Laboratory.
Mitre Corporation
U. S. Atomic Energy Commission
United States. Office of Naval Research

Subject terms

Atomic orbitals
Cosmic rays
Electron excitation
Elementary particles
Ground controlled approach
Growth (Plants)
Microwave antennas $x Patents
Molecular biology
Neutral transmission
Nuclear physics
Quantum electrodynamics
Scattering (Physics)
Three-body problem

Genre terms


Organization and Arrangement of Collection

This collection is organized into three series:

  • Series I: Biographical and personal
  • Series II: Research and correspondence
  • Series III: Laboratory notebooks and manuscripts

Provenance and Acquisition Information

Gift of Linda Cabot Black, 1991.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by James C. Maxwell in 1991 and Chip Calhoun in 2010.

Preferred Citation of Collection

Box [number], Folder [number], Roger Edge Clapp Papers, 1942-1991. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library & Archives, College Park, MD 20740, USA.

Administrative Information


Finding Aid to the Roger Edge Clapp Papers, 1919-1991 (bulk 1940-1991)


American Institute of Physics Niels Bohr Library & Archives

One Physics Ellipse
College Park, MD 20740


Encoding Information

Machine-readable finding aid encoded by Chip Calhoun in 2010. Any revisions made to this finding aid occurred as part of the editing and encoding process.

Series I: Biographical and employment

This series primarily documents Clapp's work at the MIT Radiation Lab, and includes notes, correspondence, a diary, and instruments.

Box 1 Folder 1 MIT Radiation Lab, 1919, 1940-1948
Folder 2 MIT Radiation Lab: lectures, clippings, printed material, photos, 1943-1945, undated
Folder 3 MIT Radiation Lab: early photos of radar returns, 1944-1946, undated
Folder 4 Diary of work performed under ONR contract, with remarks on C. F. Von Weisskopf and S. Goudsmit, 1952-1953
Harvard Cooperative Society calendar book, 1970-1971
Folder 5 Personal security questionnaire, 1953-1978
Folder 6 Correspondence: employment, 1950-1951, undated
Folder 7 Notes: clippings, 1943, 1951, undated
Folder 8 GCA (Ground-Controlled Approach radar) reunion, 1971
Folder 9 Finding aid to the Roger Edge Clapp papers, by James C. Maxwell, 1991

Series II: Research and correspondence

This series primarily documents Clapp's work at the MIT Radiation Lab, and includes notes, correspondence, a diary, and instruments.

Box 2 Folder 1 Patents, 1948-1969, undated
Folder 2 Patents, 1948-1956, 1962-1969, 1978-1981
Folder 3 Problems: relics of Dr. William Whitmore, 1945-1946
Folder 4 Notes and correspondence: notes on reading, 1947-1950, undated
Folder 5 Notes and correspondence: exchange currents, undated
Folder 6 Notes and correspondence: tilt of wave over Earth, 1950
Folder 7 Notes and correspondence: scattering, undated
Folder 8 Notes and correspondence: Harvard University Department of Physics, 1947-1948, undated
Folder 9 Notes and correspondence: correspondence, 1949-1951, undated
Folder 10 Notes and correspondence: spin, undated
Folder 11 Notes, lecture and others: fission physics and pile theory, Frederic de Hoffman, 1947
Folder 12 Notes, lecture and others: Harry Soodak and Edward C. Campbell, Elementary Pile Theory, Wiley, 1950
Folder 13 Notes, lecture and others: notes on jobs, 1950, undated
Folder 14 Notes, lecture and others: miscellaneous notes, 1950, undated
Folder 15 Notes, lecture and others: miscellaneous lectures by J. C. Slater, Aage Bohr, Segrè, O. Klein, 1950
Folder 16 Research notes: integral from scattering Eisenstein-Rohrlich, 1949, undated
Folder 17 Research notes: relativistic H-atom (early), undated
Folder 18 Research notes: early triton notes, undated
Folder 19 Research notes: nuclear structure, 1948
Folder 20 Research notes: many-body wave fus, undated
Folder 21 Research notes: relativity, 1947, undated
Box 3 Folder 1 Lecture notes, 1946-1948, undated
Folder 2 Notes: Schiff, undated
Folder 3 “Interpretation of Cosmic Ray Phenomena”, Bruno Rossi, undated
Folder 4 Lecture notes: P.W. Bridgman, thermodynamics, 1947-1948
Folder 5 Lecture notes: J. Schwinger, “Nuclear Physics, Part 1: Quantum Mechanics”, notes by John M. Blatt, 1946-1947
Folder 6 Lecture notes: J. Schwinger, nuclear physics, 1946
Folder 7 Lecture notes: J. Schwinger, nuclear physics, 1947
Box 4 Folder 1 Lecture notes: J. Schwinger, "Quantum Theory of Fields, A New Formulation", notes by Marvin L. Goldberger, 1950
Folder 2 Lecture notes: J. Schwinger, wave fields, 1950
Folder 3 Lecture notes: J. Schwinger, quantum electrodynamics, 1949-1950
Folder 4 Lecture notes: Frisch, "Scattering Elementary Particles", 1949, undated
Folder 5 Lecture notes: Weisskopf, "Theory of Nuclear Reactors", undated
Folder 6 Program of research, 1949-1951, undated
Folder 7 Electromagnetism: lecture notes and assignments, 1949-1950, undated
Folder 8 Electromagnetism: class problems, 1950, undated
Folder 9 Correspondence: Physical Review; Aug 30, 1949 talk, 1949, undated
Folder 10 Correspondence: Dr. Saxon, 1949
Folder 11 Report to Atomic Energy Commission, thesis abstract, 1950, undated
Folder 12 Preprints, 1948, undated
Box 5 Folder 1 Miscellaneous publications, 1949-1950
Folder 2 Correspondence: gravitation letters - Albert Einstein, John Wheeler, Richard P. Feynman, 1952-1956
Folder 3 Correspondence: reviews and proposals, 1959-1970, undated
Folder 4 Correspondence: radiometry, 1965-1966
Folder 5 Correspondence: reviews, 1966-1976, undated
Folder 6 Correspondence: reviews and proposals, 1967-1972, undated
Folder 7 Correspondence: reviews, 1967-1972, undated
Folder 8 Correspondence: reviews and proposals, 1968-1972, undated
Box 6 Folder 1 Correspondence: reviews, 1968-1970, undated
Folder 2 Correspondence: reviews, 1970-1972, undated
Folder 3 Correspondence: personal, poetry, 1970-1986, undated
Folder 4 Correspondence: reviews, 1970-1973, undated
Folder 5 Correspondence: reviews, 1970-1972, undated
Folder 6 Correspondence: reviews, 1972-1979, undated
Folder 7 Correspondence: reviews with Lubkin, Kuhn, Finkelstein, 1978-1980
Folder 8 Correspondence: Möbius electron orbits, 1980, undated
Box 7 Folder 1 Correspondence: reviews, 1977-1980, undated
Folder 2 Correspondence: Behnke, Bioscience, 1980, 1985, undated
Folder 3 Correspondence: reviews, 1979-1984, undated
Folder 4 Correspondence: reviews, 1982-1986, undated
Folder 5 Correspondence: reviews, 1982-1987, undated
Folder 6 Correspondence: reviews, 1985-1988, undated
Folder 7 Correspondence, 1986, undated
Box 8 Folder 1 Correspondence, 1983-1988, undated
Folder 2 Correspondence, 1985-1988, undated
Folder 3 Correspondence: reviews, 1988-1991, undated

Series III: Laboratory notebooks and mansucripts

This series primarily documents Clapp's work at the MIT Radiation Lab, and includes notes, correspondence, a diary, and instruments.

Subseries A: Laboratory notebooks

Box 8 Folder 4 Gravitational notebook G1, 1958-1978
Folder 5 Gravitational notebook G2, 1958
Folder 6 Gravitational notebook G78, 1977-1978
Folder 7 Gravitational notebook G79, 1978-1985
Folder 8 Gravitational notebook G80, 1978
Box 9 Folder 1 Gravitational notebook G81, 1978
Folder 2 Gravitational notebook G82, 1978
Folder 3 Gravitational notebook G83, 1978-1979
Folder 4 Gravitational notebook G84, 1979
Folder 5 Gravitational notebook G85, 1979
Folder 6 Gravitational notebook G86, 1979
Box 10 Folder 1 Gravitational notebook G87, 1979
Folder 2 Gravitational notebook G88, 1979
Folder 3 Gravitational notebook G89, 1979
Folder 4 Gravitational notebook G90, 1979
Folder 5 Gravitational notebook G91, 1979
Folder 6 Gravitational notebook G92, 1979
Box 11 Folder 1 Gravitational notebook G93, 1979-1980
Folder 2 Gravitational notebook G94, 1979-1984
Folder 3 Gravitational notebook G95, 1980
Folder 4 Gravitational notebook G96, 1980-1984
Folder 5 Gravitational notebook G97, 1984
Folder 6 Gravitational notebook G98, 1984
Box 12 Folder 1 Gravitational notebook G99, 1984
Folder 2 Gravitational notebook G100, 1985-1987
Folder 3 Gravitational notebook G101, 1988

Subseries B: Gravitation

Box 12 Folder 4 “Wave Fields and Elementary Particles. I: Gravitation”, undated
Folder 5 “Wave Fields and Elementary Particles. III: Field Equations”, undated
Folder 6 “Wave Fields and Elementary Particles. III: Field Equations”, undated
Folder 7 “The Muon, the Electron, and the Primitive Field”, undated
Box 13 Folder 1 Thesis, “A Variational Solution of the Nuclear Three-body Problem”, Department of Physics, Harvard University, 1949
Folder 2 Thesis material, folder 1, undated
Folder 3 Thesis material, folder 2, undated
Folder 4 Thesis material, folder 3, undated
Folder 5 Thesis material, folder 4, undated
Box 14 Folder 1 Reprint, "Preliminary Quasar Model Based on the Yilmaz Exponential Metric", 1973
"Does the Dark Galactic Matter Consist of Gravitons?", undated
"Gravitation, the Primitive Field, and the Exponential Metric", undated
"Redshift of Spectral Lines from the Surface of a Gravitationally Compacted Sphere in the Yilmaz Theory of Gravitation", undated
Folder 2 "Planetary Procession and the Bending of Light", 1967
Folder 3 "Relativistic Completion of Newtonian Gravitational Theory", 1965
Folder 4 "Spinor theory of Gravitation. I. Vacuum Sea", undated
"Gravitation and the Primitive Field", undated
Folder 5 "Quasar Structure, in a Cosmology Based on Mach's Principle", undated
Folder 6 "Newtonian Gravitation with Refractive Correction Term", undated
"Generalized, Lorentz-Invariant Fermi Sea, as a Representation of the Vacuum State", undated
Folder 7 "Gravitational Redshifts in Galaxies with Highly Active Cores", undated
"Rotating-Source Metric in the Yilmaz Gravitational Theory", undated
"Continuation Solution for the Yilmaz Theory", undated
"Quasar Model Based on the Yilmaz Exponential Metric", undated
Folder 8 "Generalized Exponential Metric", undated
Folder 9 "Solar Gravitational Phenomena, in a Cosmology Based on Mach's Principle", undated
Folder 10 "Cosmology Based on Mach's Principle", undated
Folder 11 "Parameter Scaling, in a Cosmology Based on Mach's Principle", undated
Research proposal: "Astrophysical Phenomena in Intense Gravitational Fields", 1970
"Newtonian Gravitation with Refractive Correction Term", undated
Box 15 Folder 1 "On the Origin of the Cosmic Background Radiation", undated
"On the Origin of the Galactic Voids", undated
Folder 2 "Partial Gravitational Collapse", undated
"Gravitational Redshifts Reconsidered", undated
Folder 3 "Elementary Particle Structure, Second Installment", 1953
Folder 4 "Elementary Particles. I", 1952
Folder 5 "Elementary Particle Structure", 1953
Folder 6 "Elementary Particle Structure, Chapter I", 1953
Folder 7 "Elementary Particle Structure. I. Basic Concepts", 1956
"Elementary Particle Structure, Chapter II: Electromagnetic Field", 1954
Folder 8 "Elementary Particle Structure, Chapter III: Notes on Gravitational Sources", undated
Folder 9 "Elementary Particle Structure, Chapter IV: Neutrino and Neutral Mu-Meson", 1954
Folder 10 "Elementary Particle Structure, Chapter V: Electron and Charged Mu-Meson", undated
Box 16 Folder 1 "An Approach to Elementary Particle Structure. I. Gravitational Phenomena", 1958
"The Neutral Muon", 1956
Folder 2 Research proposal: "Elementary Particle Theory", 1959
Folder 3 "Gravitational Phenomena: A New Interpretation", 1965
Folder 4 "A New Interpretation of Gravitational Phenomena. I. Motivation", 1965, 1966
Folder 5 "A New Interpretation of Gravitational Phenomena. II. The Four Tests", 1966
Folder 6 "A New Interpretation of Gravitational Phenomena. III. Variational Formulation", 1966
"A New Interpretation of Gravitational Phenomena. IV. Spinor Formulation", 1966

Subseries C: Particles and other

Box 16 Folder 7 "A Complete Orthogonal Expansion for the Nuclear Three-Body Problem. Part II. Scalar Dependence", undated
Folder 8 "Helicity of Ballistic Electrons", undated
"Particle Spectroscopy in a Nonlocal Theory", undated
Folder 9 "Magic Numbers and Exotic Particles", undated
Folder 10 "Quantized Hall Effect: A Proposed Mechanism Explaining the 1/3 and 2/3 Quantizations", with correspondence, 1982-1983, undated
Folder 11 "Trilocal Structures. III. Inner-Tier Solution", undated
Folder 12 "Trilocal Structures. VI. Helicity Operators", undated
"Trilocal Structures. VII. Electron Solution in Rest System", undated
"Trilocal Structures. VIII. Muon Solution", undated
Box 17 Folder 1 "Trilocal Leptons", undated
Folder 2 "Trilocal Structures", 1959, undated
Folder 3 "Pentalocal Structures. I. Secular Equation", 1977

Subseries D: Biology

Subsubseries 1: Entropy, energy, biological processes

Box 17 Folder 4 "Entropy Disposal by Growing Organisms. I. Theoretical Considerations", undated
"Entropy Disposal by Growing Organisms. II. Experiments in Fluorescence in Saltbush Leaves", undated
Folder 5 "Energy Transduction in Biological Molecules: Collective Excitations in Chlorophyll, Retinal, and Alpha-Helical Proteins", with correspondence, undated

Subsubseries 2: Nerve fibers, information transfer

Box 17 Folder 6 "Biological Information Transfer Using Infared Quanta. II. Proton Pump in Bacteriorhodopsin: Tryptophan Tower and Tyrosine Well", undated
Folder 7 "Biological Information Transfer Using Infared Quanta. I. Can Nerve Fibers Carry Infared Signals?", undated
Folder 8 "Electromagnetic Mechanisms in Biological Molecules", undated
Folder 9 Research proposal: "Quantum-Electrical Mechanisms in Biological Molecules", 1982, undated
Folder 10 "Patterns of Neural Excitation Within Cyclic Mappings in the Brain: On Their Role in Olfaction and in Endogenous Mental Processes Such as the Focusing of Attention", undated
Folder 11 "Interrelations Between Neural and Extraneural Cortical Events", undated
Folder 12 "Proton Pump in Bacteriorhodopsin: A Zipper Mechanism", 1986

Subsubseries 3: Plant growth

Box 18 Folder 1 "Low-Temperature Fluorescence at 735 nm in Leaves of Atriplex Hortensis: Quenching by Gaseous Carbon Dioxide", undated
Folder 2 "Low-Temperature Studies of Chlorophyll Fluorescence: Quenching of the 735 nm Peak by Gaseous CO2?", undated
Folder 3 "Suggested Interpretation of the Plant Growth Enhancement by Colloidally Dispersed Triacontanol", with correspondence, 1983, undated
Folder 4 "Structure and Function in Insulin, in the Zipper Model", undated

Subsubseries 4: Electron orbits

Box 18 Folder 5 "Loop Currents in Adenine and Guanine", undated
"Loop Currents in Bacteriorhodopsin", 1983
Folder 6 "Loop Currents in Purines and Related Molecules", undated
"Loop Currents and Visual Pigments", 1983
"Loop Currents and Firefly Luminescence", 1983
Folder 7 "Möbius Electron Orbits in Porphyrins", with correspondence, 1980, undated
Folder 8 "Loop Currents in Carotenoids", undated
"Loop Currents in Photosynthesis", undated

Subsubseries 5: Rhodopsin

Box 18 Folder 9 "Bacteriorhodopsin: A Role for Loop Currents", undated
"Electron Orbits in Visual Pigments", 1980, undated

Subseries E: Electromagnetic fields

Box 18 Folder 10 "Electric and Magnetic Fields in a Region of Transient Conductivity", undated
Folder 11 "A Theoretical and Experimental Study of Radar Ground Return", 1946, undated

Subseries F: Electromagnetic fields in plasma

Box 19 Folder 1 Proposals to Atomic Energy Commission to conduct controlled thermonuclear research program., 1967-1969, undated
Folder 2 "Ball Lightning", with correspondence, 1968, undated
Folder 3 "Ball Lightning II. Electron Energy Levels in a Thin Conducting Shell", with correspondence, 1968, undated
Folder 4 "Ball Lightning, Solar Flares, and the BCS Theory", undated
Folder 5 "Plasma Confinement and Heating by High-requency Electromagnetic Fields in Rotating-Magnetic-Multipole Modes Within a Spherical or Spheroidal Cavity", undated
Folder 6 "On the Role of Helium in Solar Flares", undated
"Solar Gravitational Phenomena, in a Cosmology Based on Mach's Principle", undated

Subseries G: Non-impact printing, electrophoresis

Box 19 Folder 7 "Circuit Aspects of Electrophoresis", undated
Folder 8 "Printing by Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields", undated
Folder 9 "Image-Curent Derivation of the Relationship Between Charged-Particle Motion and External-Circuit Current Flow in High-Voltage Pulsed Electrophoresis", undated
Folder 10 "Electrical Transients in a Lossy Dielectric Loaded with Partially-Conducting Spheres. I. Concentric Resistive Spheres", undated
Folder 11 "Relativistic Analysis of the Relationship Between Charged-Particle Motion and External-Circuit Current Flow in High-Voltage Pulsed Electrophoresis", undated

Subseries H: Philosophy

Box 20 Folder 1 "Attention as the Agent of the Self", undated
"The Uses of Attention", with correspondence, undated
Folder 2 "On Determinism", undated
"Determinism Revisited", undated
Folder 3 "Reconciling Determinism and Free Will at the Atomic Level", undated
Folder 4 "Causality in Nonlocal Physics", with correspondence, undated
"Life, Quanta, and the Size of Things", with correspondence, 1980, undated
Folder 5 "Life: Its Pursuit of Structure", with correspondence, 1983, undated
Folder 6 "A Conversation on Entropy and Biology", undated
Folder 7 "Helicity, Ballistic Electrons, and Biological Chirality", undated