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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjectsCitations

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Melba Phillips

Photo

Dates

February 1, 1907 – November 8, 2004

Authorized Form of Name

Phillips, Melba, 1907-2004

Additional Forms of Names

Phillips, Melba (Melba Newell), 1907-

Phillips, Melba Newell

Biography

Abstract

Obtained PhD (physics), University of California, Berkeley (1933). Faculty, Brooklyn College; Columbia University Radiation Laboratory; Professor, University of Chicago; Visiting Professor, State University of New York, Stony Brook; Visiting Professor, University of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing (Zhongguo ke xue yuan).

Important Dates

February 1, 1907Birth, Gibson County (Ind.).

1923 – 1926Obtained bachelor's degree in mathematics, Oakland City College of Indiana, Oakland City (Ind.).

1927 – 1930Obtained master's degree in physics, Battle Creek College, Battle Creek (Mich.).

1933Obtained PhD in physics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley (Calif.).

1935 – 1936Research fellow, Bryn Mawr College.

1936 – 1937Research fellow, Institute for Advanced Study.

1937 – 1938Instructor, Connecticut College for Women.

1938 – 1941Instructor, Brooklyn College, New York (N.Y.).

1941 – 1944Visiting Professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (Minn.).

1944 – 1952Instructor, Brooklyn College. Terminated for refusing to testify before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security subcommitee to investigate alleged communist activities, New York (N.Y.).

1944 – 1952Worked at the Columbia University Radiation Laboratory. Terminated for refusing to testify before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security subcommitee to investigate alleged communist activities, New York (N.Y.).

1945Participated in founding of the Federation of American Scientists.

1957 – 1962Associate Director, Academic Year Institute, Washington University, Saint Louis (Mo.).

1960 – 1968Member, Commission on College Physics.

1962 – 1972Professor, University of Chicago, Chicago (Ill.).

1963Awarded distinguished service citation, American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

1964Awarded honorary degree, Oakland City College.

1966 – 1967President, American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

1972 – 1975Visiting Professor, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

1972 – 2004Professor Emerita, University of Chicago, Chicago (Ill.).

1974Awarded Oersted Medal, American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

1980Visiting Professor, graduate school, University of Science and Technology of China, Chinese Academy of Science.

1981Awarded first Melba Newell Phillips Award, American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

1981Awarded Karl Taylor Compton Award, American Institute of Physics (AIP).

1988Awarded Guy and Rebecca Forman Award for Outstanding Teaching in Undergraduate Physics, Vanderbilt University.

2003Awarded Joseph Burton Forum Award, American Physical Society (APS).

November 8, 2004Death, Pike County (Ind.).

Occupation

Physics educator.

Places

Birth

Gibson County (Ind.)

Undergraduate Education

Oakland City (Ind.)

Graduate Education

Battle Creek (Mich.)

Berkeley (Calif.)

Employment

Minneapolis (Minn.)

New York (N.Y.)

Saint Louis (Mo.)

Chicago (Ill.)

Death

Pike County (Ind.)

Subjects

Physics -- Study and teaching.

Women in science.

Women physicists.

Citations

From the finding aid of the Melba Phillips papers, Niels Bohr Library & Archives.

Relationships

People

Advisors & Collaborators

Bonner, Francis T.

Co-wrote "Principles of Physical Science."

Hamermesh, M. (Morton), 1915-2003

Co-wrote a paper.

Mara, Richard T.

Co-wrote "Electricity and Magnetism".

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Advised by Oppenheimer at University of California, Berkeley. The Oppenheimer-Phillips Process was named for their work after Phillips completed her PhD.

Panofsky, Wolfgang K. H. (Wolfgang Kurt Hermann), 1919-2007

Co-wrote "Classical Electricity and Magnetism."

Raymond, Jane

Contributed to second edition of "Principles of Physical Science."

Weart, Spencer R., 1942-

Co-wrote "History of Physics."

Colleagues

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

Both employed at Washington University (St. Louis, Mo.), Condon brought her to run the Academic Year Institute program.

Additional

Bloch, Felix, 1905-

Bohm, David, 1917-1992

Buchta, J. W. (J. William), 1895-1966

Crowther, J. G. (James Gerald), 1899-

Darrow, Karl K. (Karl Kelchner), 1891-

Feenberg, Eugene

Furry, W. H. (Wendell Hinkle), 1907-

Klopsteg, Paul E. (Paul Ernest), 1889-

Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901-1958

Mayer, Joseph Edward, 1904-

Mayer, Maria Goeppert, 1906-1972

Oppenheimer, Frank, 1912-1985

Press, Frank, 1924-

Salzman, Freda Friedman, 1927-1981

Salzman, George, 1925-

Schrecker, Ellen

Schweber, S. S. (Silvan S.)

Van Vleck, J. H. (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980

Webster, Arthur Gordon, 1863-1923

Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000

Zemansky, Mark Waldo, 1900-

Institutions

Major Positions

Brooklyn College

Instructor.

Bryn Mawr College

Research fellow.

Columbia University. Department of Physics

Employed at the Columbia University Radiation Laboratory.

Connecticut College for Women

Instructor.

Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.)

Research Fellow.

State University of New York at Stony Brook. Department of Physics

Visiting Professor.

University of Chicago. Department of Physics

Professor and Professor Emerita.

University of Minnesota. Department of Physics and Astronomy

Visiting Professor.

University of Science and Technology of China

Visiting Professor, Graduate School.

Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.)

Associate Director, Academic Year Institute.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Association of Physics Teachers

President.

American Physical Society

Battle Creek College (Battle Creek, Mich.)

Obtained Master's degree in Physics.

College of the City of New York (1926-1961). City College. Physics Department

Commission on College Physics

Federation of American Scientists

Founder.

Harvard University. Department of Physics

Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

Oakland City College (Oakland City, Ind.)

Obtained Bachelor's degree in Mathematics.

Optical Society of America

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Physics

Obtained PhD in Physics.

Washington University (Saint Louis, Mo.). Department of Physics

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Joint ceremonial session of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers [sound recording], 1974 February 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Mark W. Zemansky commemorative session, American Association of Physics Teachers summer meeting, 1982 June 23.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Melba Phillips correspondence with Karl Kelchner Darrow, 1965-1967.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Melba Phillips papers, 1922-1999 (bulk 1950-1985).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Melba Phillips personal recollections, undated.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Melba Phillips' response to early 1930s Ph.D.s Survey, 1978.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Melba Newell Phillips, 1977 December 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Melba Phillips, 1997 December 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The American Physical Society: a survey of its first fifty years, 1988.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

American Association of Physics Teachers records of Paul E. Klopsteg, 1930-1975.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Contributions of 20th century women to physics [online resource], 1900-1976.

University of California, Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA 90024-1575, USA

Edward Condon papers, circa 1920-1974.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Eulogies for Wendell Hinkle Furry, 1985.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Final script and draft, lesson 33 "Work and Energy" of Continental Classroom: Physics for the Atomic Age, program on NBC Television, 1958.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

James Brady's response to early 1930s Ph.D.s Survey, 1980.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Letter to Melba Phillips on Arthur Gordon Webster, 1986.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Eugene Feenberg, 1973 April 13 and 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Sam Schweber, 1998 October 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Stanley Deser, 2011 March 12.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Wolfgang Kurt Hermann Panofsky, 1973 May 15 and 1974 March 6 and June 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

Classical electricity and magnetism

Electricity and magnetism

History of physics

On teaching physics : reprints of American Journal of Physics articles from the first half century of AAPT

Physics history from AAPT journals

Principles of physical science

The life and times of modern physics : history of physics II

Subject

Melba Phillips Physics Today obituary