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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Philip Hauge Abelson

Photo

Dates

April 27, 1913 – August 1, 2004

Authorized Form of Name

Abelson, Philip Hauge

Additional Forms of Names

Abelson, Philip H.

Abelson, Philip Hauge, 1913-2004

Biography

Abstract

Philip Abelson spent most of his career at Carnegie Institution of Washington, moving from Assistant Physicist (1939), Director of the Geophysical Lab to President (1971-1978).

Important Dates

April 27, 1913Birth, Tacoma (Wash.).

1933Obtained B.S., Washington State University, Pullman (Wash.).

1935Obtained M.S. in Physics, Washington State University, Pullman (Wash.).

1939Obtained PhD in nuclear physics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley (Calif.).

1939 – 1941Assistant Physicist (1939-1941), Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington (D.C.).

1941 – 1946Associate Physicist (1941-1942), Physicist (1942-1945), Senior Physicist (1944-1945), Principal Physicist (1945-1946), Naval Research Laboratory, United States Navy, Washington (D.C.).

1944 – 1945Civilian-In-Charge, Navy Yard Branch, Philadelphia, Naval Research Laboratory, United States Navy.

1946 – 1978Chair of Biophysics Section, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (1946-1953); Director of Geophysical Laboratory (1953-1971); and President (1971-1978), Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington (D.C.).

1949 – 1957Chair of Committee on Radiation Cataracts, National Research Council, Washington (D.C.).

1950 – 1953Chair, Subcommittee on Shock, National Research Council.

1956 – 1959Member, Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry Study Section, National Institutes of Health.

1958 – 1960Member, Physical Biology Training Grants Committee, National Institutes of Health.

1959Elected member, National Academy of Sciences.

1959 – 1963Member, Plowshare Advisory Committee, United States Atomic Energy Commission.

1959 – 1965Editor, Journal of Geophysical Research, Washington (D.C.).

1960 – 1963Member, General Advisory Committee, United States Atomic Energy Commission.

1960 – 1963 Scientific Councilor, National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases.

1962 – 1984Editor, Science, Washington (D.C.).

1968 – 1971Member, Council, National Academy of Sciences.

1972Awarded Kalinga Prize, UNESCO.

1972President, Cosmos Club.

1972 – 1974President, American Geophysical Union (AGU).

1974 – 1975Acting Executive Director, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

1974 – 1984Member, Board of Directors, Washington Gas Light Company, Washington (D.C.).

1978 – 1981Member, Council, National Academy of Sciences.

1985 – 1987Natural Science Fellow, Resources for the Future.

1987National Medal of Science Physical Sciences Laureate.

August 1, 2004Death, Bethesda (Md.).

Occupation

Physicist and science writer.

Places

Birth

Tacoma (Wash.)

Undergraduate Education

Pullman (Wash.)

Graduate Education

Pullman (Wash.)

Berkeley (Calif.)

Employment

Washington (D.C.)

Death

Bethesda (Md.)

Subjects

Cyclotrons.

Neutron irradiation.

Nuclear physics.

Nuclear submarines.

Transuranium elements.

World War, 1939-1945.

Relationships

People

Family

Cherniavsky, E. A.

Daughter.

Martin, Neva

Wife, married in 1936.

Advisors & Collaborators

Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901-1958

PhD advisor at University of California, Berkeley, "An investigation of the products of the disintegration of uranium by neutrons."

McMillan, Edwin M. (Edwin Mattison), 1907-

Co-discoverer of Neptunium.

Colleagues

Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974

Both employed at Carnegie Institition of Washington.

Fano, Ugo

Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Forbush, Scott E., 1904-1984

Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982

Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Vestine, E. H. (Ernest Harry), 1906-1968

Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Wetherill, George West

Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Additional

Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-1988

Babcock, Horace W.

Groueff, Stephane

Larson, Clarence E. (Clarence Edward), 1909-

MacDonald, Gordon J. (Gordon James), 1929-2002

McCrea, William Hunter

Newell, Homer E. (Homer Edward), 1915-1983

Institutions

Major Positions

Carnegie Institution of Washington

Assistant Physicist and President.

Carnegie Institution of Washington. Department of Terrestrial Magnetism

Chair, Biophysics Section.

Carnegie Institution of Washington. Geophysical Laboratory

Director.

Naval Research Laboratory (U.S.)

Associate Physicist; Physicist; Senior Physicist; Principal Physicist; and Civilian-In-Charge, Navy Yard Branch (Philadelphia).

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Editor of "Science" who transformed it into the journal it is today and acting Executive Officer.

American Geophysical Union

President and editor of Journal of Geophysical Research.

Cosmos Club (Washington, D.C.)

President.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member, Council.

National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases (U.S.)

Scientific Councilor.

National Institutes of Health (U.S.)

Member, Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry Study Section and Member of Physical Biology Training Grants Committee.

National Research Council (U.S.)

Chair, Committee on Radiation Cataracts and Chair, Subcommittee on Shock.

Resources for the Future

Natural Science Fellow.

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission

Member, Plowshare Advisory Committee and member of General Advisory Committee.

United States. National Bureau of Standards

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Physics

Obtained PhD in nuclear physics.

Washington Gas Light Company

Member, Board of Directors.

Washington State University. Department of Chemistry

Obtained B.S.

Washington State University. Department of Physics

Obtained M.S.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Carnegie Institution of Washington archives, 1900-1990.

Library

Carnegie Institution of Washington

1530 P Street NW, Washington, D C 20005, USA

Clarence E. Larson science and technology oral history collection, 1983-1993.

Special Collections & Archives

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA 22030-4444, USA

Oral History interview with Philip Hauge Abelson, 2002 June 19, 26 and July 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Philip Abelson papers, 1939-2000.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Philip H. Abelson autobiography, undated.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Proceedings [sound recording]: papers presented at the Enrico Fermi and the beginnings of nuclear fission Centennial Conference. 2001 November 15 and 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Responses to History of Geophysics Survey, 1997.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Science files and back issues, 1880-2005.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

1200 New York Avenue Northwest Washington, DC 20005, USA

Subject

Oral history interview with Gordon J. MacDonald, 1993 November 15, 1994 March 18 and 1995 August 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Homer Edward Newell, 1980 July 17 and October 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Horace W. Babcock, 1977, July 25.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Luis Alvarez, 1967 February 14 and 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Norman Ramsey, 1978 December 19, 1979 January 5 and 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William Hunter McCrea, 1978 September 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Stephane Groueff papers, 1955-1975.

Mugar Library Special Collections

Boston University

771 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Vannevar Bush papers, 1921-1974.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

Published Resources

Author

Uncle Phil and the atomic bomb.

Subject

Philip Hauge Abelson Physics Today obituary