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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

John C. Slater

Photo

Dates

December 22, 1900 – July 25, 1976

Authorized Form of Name

Slater, John C. (John Clarke), 1900-1976

Additional Forms of Names

Slater, J. C. (John Clarke), 1900-1976

Slater, John Clarke, 1900-1976

Slėter, Dzh., 1900-1976

Biography

Abstract

American physicist. He graduated from Harvard (Ph.D. 1923) and continued his studies at Cambridge University. He also studied in Copenhagen for six months under Niels Bohr, with whom Slater worked again in 1929 on quantum theory. He returned to the United States in 1930 to become head of the department of physics at M.I.T., where he worked with Karl Compton to transform the study of physics there. Slater's wartime research at MIT Radiation Laboratory increased the effectiveness of radar and the magnetron.

Important Dates

December 22, 1900Birth, Oak Park (Ill.).

1920Obtained A.B., University of Rochester, Rochester (N.Y.).

1922Obtained A.M., Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1923Obtained Ph.D. in physics, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1923 – 1924Sheldon Traveling Fellow, Cambridge University and University of Copenhagen.

1924 – 1930Instructor in Physics (1924-1926), Assistant Professor of Physics (1926-1929), and Associate Professor of Physics (1929-1930), Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1929 – 1930Guggenheim Fellow, University of Leipzig.

1930 – 1966Professor of Physics (1930-1951); Head, Department of Physics (1930-1952); and Institute Professor (1951-1966), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge (Mass.).

1932Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1940 – 1945Researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Radiation Laboratory, Cambridge (Mass.).

1943 – 1945Member of Technical Staff, Bell Laboratories.

1951 – 1952Visiting scientist, Brookhaven National Laboratory.

1964 – 1976Research Professor of Physics and Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville (Fla.).

1967Awarded Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics, American Physical Society (APS).

1970Awarded National Medal of Science.

July 25, 1976Death, Sanibel Island (Fla.).

Occupation

Atomic and molecular physicist.

Places

Birth

Oak Park (Ill.)

Undergraduate Education

Rochester (N.Y.)

Graduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Employment

Cambridge (Mass.)

Gainesville (Fla.)

Death

Sanibel Island (Fla.)

Subjects

Atomic theory.

Magnetrons.

Molecular theory.

Nuclear physics.

Physics -- Experiments.

Physics -- Study and teaching.

Quantum electrodynamics.

Quantum theory.

Solid state physics.

Sound.

Spectrum analysis.

Relationships

People

Family

Frankenfeld, Helen

First wife, married in 1926 and later divorced.

Mooney-Slater, Rose Camille LeDieu, 1902-1981

Second wife, married in 1954.

Slater, Clarke Rothwell

Son.

Slater, John Frederick

Son.

Slater, Louise Chapin

Daughter.

Advisors & Collaborators

Allen, Leland C.

Advised by Slater at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in chemistry.

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Post-doctoral advisor at University of Copenhagen and collaborated on BKS theory.

Bridgman, P. W. (Percy Williams), 1882-1961

Ph.D. advisor at Harvard University and both employed at Harvard University.

Coleman, Paul D.

Advised by Slater at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Frank, Nathaniel H. (Nathaniel Herman), 1903-1984

Co-wrote "Introduction to Theoretical Physics," "Electromagnetism," and "Mechanics."

Harris, C. B. (Charles B.), 1940-

Advised by Slater at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in chemistry.

Kirkwood, John Gamble, 1907-1959

Advised by Slater at Harvard University in chemistry and both employed at Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kramers, Hendrik Anthony, 1894-1952

Collaborated on BKS theory.

Shockley, William, 1910-1989

Advised by Slater at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), "Calculation of Electron Wave Functions in Sodium Chloride Crystals".

Vineyard, G. H.

Advised by Slater at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Colleagues

Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bacher, Robert F. (Robert Fox), 1905-2004

Both employed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Barton, Henry Askew, 1898-1983

Both employed at Harvard University (NRC fellowship).

Benedek, George Bernard, 1928-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Bitter, Francis, 1902-1967

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Bradbury, Norris, 1909-1997

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Burstein, Elias, 1917-2017

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Callen, Herbert B.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Chodorow, Marvin

Advised by Slater at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Both employed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Compton, K. T. (Karl Taylor), 1887-1954

Compton brought Slater to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to run the Physics Department.

Deutsch, Martin, 1917-2002

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Drell, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1926-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Enge, Harald A.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Feshbach, Herman

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Fisk, James B. (James Brown), 1910-1981

Both employed at Bell Laboratories.

Friedman, Jerome I. (Jerome Isaac), 1930-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Galt, John Kirtland, 1920-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Glimm, James

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Goldberger, Marvin L.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Hansen, W. W. (William Webster), 1909-1949

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Herring, William Conyers, 1914-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Hill, Edward Lee, 1904-1974

Both employed at Harvard University.

Jackson, John David, 1925-2016

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Javan, Ali, 1926-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kelly, Mervin Joe

Both employed at Bell Laboratories.

Kemble, Edwin C. (Edwin Crawford), 1889-

Taught quantum physics course at Harvard taken by Slater and both employed by Harvard University.

Kendall, Henry W. (Henry Way), 1926-1999

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Keyes, Frederick G. (Frederick George), 1885-1976

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Killian, T. J. (Thomas Joseph), 1905-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Klein, Martin J.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kleppner, Daniel

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kraushaar, William L.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Lax, Benjamin

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Livingston, M. Stanley (Milton Stanley)

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Low, Francis E. (Francis Eugene), 1921-2007

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Löwdin, Per-Olov, 1916-2000

Both employed at University of Florida.

Lyman, Theodore, 1874-1954

Both employed at Harvard University.

Morrison, Philip

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Morse, Philip M. (Philip McCord), 1903-1985

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Mulliken, Robert Sanderson

Both employed at Harvard University.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Both employed at Harvard University.

Pierce, George Washington, 1872-1956

Both employed at Harvard University.

Rabi, I. I. (Isidor Isaac), 1898-1988

Both employed at the Radiation Laboratory during World War II.

Rasmussen, Norman C.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Rossi, Bruno, 1905-1993

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Saunders, Frederick A. (Frederick Albert), 1875-1963

Both employed at Harvard University.

Schulz, George J., 1925-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Shull, Clifford Glenwood

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Spruch, Larry

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Stratton, Julius Adams, 1901-1994

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Ting, S. C. C. (Samuel Chao-chung), 1936-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Townes, Charles H.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Van de Graaf, Robert Jemison, 1901-1967

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Weiss, Rainer

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, 1908-2002

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Wiesner, Jerome B. (Jerome Bert), 1915-1994

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Zacharias, Jerrold Reinach, 1905-1986

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Additional

Allis, William P. (William Phelps), 1901-1999

Bardeen, John

Buck, Paul Herman, 1899-1978

Compton, Arthur Holly, 1892-1962

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

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

Dirac, P. A. M. (Paul Adrien Maurice), 1902-1984

Evans, Robley Dunglison, 1907-

Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954

Gingrich, Newell Shiffer, 1906-

Goudsmit, Samuel A. (Samuel Abraham), 1902-1978

Grisdale, Richard Orvis, 1908-

Heisenberg, Werner, 1901-1976

Herb, R. G. (Raymond George), 1908-1996

Hoddeson, Lillian

Holden, Alan

Hoyt, Frank Clark, 1898-

Hund, Friedrich, 1896-1997

Ingard, K. Uno

Kelly, Harry C.

Kip, Arthur F.

Klein, Oskar

Koster, George F.

Krutter, Harry, 1911-

Nix, Foster Cary, 1905-

Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958

Pegram, George Braxton, 1876-1958

Schrieffer, J. R. (John Robert), 1931-

Schrödinger, Erwin, 1887-1961

Shankland, Robert S., 1908-

Swann, W. F. G. (William Francis Gray), 1884-1962

Tate, John T. (John Torrence), 1889-1950

Teller, Edward, 1908-2003

Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981

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

Long time friend.

Villars, Donald Statler, 1900-

Von Hippel, Arthur R. (Arthur Robert), 1898-

Waller, Ivar, 1898-1991

Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008

Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-1995

Institutions

Major Positions

Bell Telephone Laboratories

Member, Technical staff.

Brookhaven National Laboratory

Visiting Scientist.

Harvard University. Department of Physics

Obtained AM and PhD, Instructor of Physics, Assistant Professor of Physics, and Associate Professor of Physics.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics, Head of Department, and Institute Professor.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Radiation Laboratory

Researcher.

University of Florida. Department of Physics

Research Professor of Physics and Chemistry.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Physical Society

Awarded Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics.

California Institute of Technology. Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy

Københavns universitet

Sheldon Travelling Fellow.

Lawrence Radiation Laboratory

Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

Princeton University. Department of Physics

Universität Leipzig. Institut für Theoretische Physik

Guggenheim Fellow.

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Physics

University of Cambridge. Department of Physics

Sheldon Travelling Fellow.

University of Chicago. Department of Physics

University of Rochester. Department of Physics and Astronomy

Obtained AB (1920).

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

History of the MIT Physics Department, 1930-1948.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Invited papers on physics today [sound recording], 1951 October.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

John C. Slater manuscript and autobiography, 1975.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

John Clarke Slater correspondence and autobiographical account of the history of writing of the Bohr-Kramer-Slater paper in 1924, 1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

John Clarke Slater papers, 1908-1976.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Oral history interview with John Clarke Slater, 1963 October 3 and 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Clarke Slater, 1970 February 23 and August 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Symposium at the 50th anniversary of quantum mechanics [sound recording], 1976 April 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Donald Statler Villars intellectual autobiography, 1964.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Ivar Waller papers, circa 1912-1989.

Centrum för Vetenskapshistoria

Kungl. Svenska vetenskapsakademien

Stockholm, Sweden

J. H. Van Vleck selected correspondence and notes [microform], 1923-1959, (bulk 1923-1938).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Lillian Hoddeson papers, 1904-2001.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Memorial session for John C. Slater [sound recording], 1977 February 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

MIT Office of the President records of Karl Taylor Compton and James Rhyne Killian, 1930-1959.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Newell S. Gingrich student notebooks, 1927-1929.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Niels Bohr collection of manuscripts by other authors, 1910-1961.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Niels Bohr scientific correspondence, supplement, 1910-1962.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Oral history interview with Alan Holden, 1974 July 30 and 1976 June 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Arthur Frederic Kip, 1982 June 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Arthur von Hippel, 1981 October 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edwin C. Kemble, 1962 May 11 to 1963 October 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Foster Cary Nix, 1975 June 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Frank Clark Hoyt, 1964 April 28.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Friedrich Hund, 1963 June 25 and 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harold Clayton Urey, 1964 March 24.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harry C. Kelly, 1975 October 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harry Krutter, 1980 March 19.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with I. I. Rabi, 1963 December 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. H. Van Vleck, 1963 October 2 and 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with James Brown Fisk, 1976 June 24.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Bardeen, 1984 May 29.

Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library

Princeton University

65 Olden Street, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

Oral history interview with John Robert Schrieffer, 1974 September 26 and 1976 January 19.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with K. Uno Ingard, 2007 July 19.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Norris Edwin Bradbury, 1976 February 11.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Oskar Benjamin Klein, 1962 September 25 to 16 July 1963.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Paul Buck, 1977 March 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Per Olov Löwdin, 1975 January 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Richard Orvis Grisdale, 1975 July 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert S. Mulliken, 1964 February 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert S. Shankland, 1974 August 20 and 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robley D. Evans, 1972 May 2, 3, 1974 May 5 and 1978 June 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Werner Heisenberg, 1962 November 30, 1963 February 7, 11, 13, 15, 19, 22, 25, 27, 28 and 1963 July 5, 12.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William Conyers Herring, 1974 July 23, 29, and 31 October.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William Conyers Herring, 2000 August 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William Shockley, 1974 September 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Robert Van de Graaff papers, 1928-1948 (bulk 1943-1946).

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Rose C. L. Mooney-Slater papers, 1917-1981.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Samuel A. Goudsmit papers, 1928-1932.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

William Allis papers, 1924-1989.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Published Resources

Author

Electromagnetism

Insulators, semiconductors and metals

Introduction to chemical physics

Introduction to theoretical physics

Mechanics

Microwave electronics

Microwave transmission

Modern physics

Quantum theory of atomic structure

Quantum theory of matter

Quantum theory of molecules and solids

Solid-state and molecular theory : a scientific biography

Symmetry and energy bands in crystals

The calculation of molecular orbitals

Subject

"John Clarke Slater: 1900-1976" : Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences [by] Philip M. Morse

Bohr-Kramers-Slater: A Virtual Theory of Virtual Oscillators and Its Role in the History of Quantum Mechanics [by] John Hendry

J. C. Slater's Optical Theory in 1925: Another Dispersion Theory [by] Hiroyuki Konno

John C. Slater Physics Today obituary

John Clarke Slater and the Science of the Transistor [by] Paul K. Koch

John Clarke Slater, sa vie et son oeuvre scientifique [by] Jean-Marie André

Quantum theory of atoms, molecules, and the solid state; a tribute to John C. Slater

Slater's evidence for the genesis of the Bohr-Kramers-Slater theory [by] Hiroyuki Konno

Slater's Theory of Line Breadth and the Virtual Oscillator Model: A Premature Attempt in the Old Quantum Theory [by] Hiroyuki Konno

The Contexts of Simultaneous Discovery: Slater, Pauling, and the Origins of Hybridisation [by] B. S. Park

The Young John Clarke Slater and the Development of Quantum Chemistry [by] S. S. Schweber