Menu ☰

Back to Top

Physics History Network

Over 1000 biographies of physicists and histories of institutions with information pertaining to their lives, careers, and research.

Tip: Search within this page by using Ctrl + F or ⌘ + F


Search Our Catalogs

Archives Books

Collections

Emilio Segré Visual Archives Digital Collections Oral Histories Archival Finding Aids Physics History Network

Preservation and Support

Donating Materials Saving Archival Collections Grants to Archives Documentation Projects History Newsletters

Center for History of Physics

Scholarship & Outreach

Main Navigation

HomeAboutTopic GuidesFeedback

Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Raymond T. Birge

Photo

Dates

March 13, 1887 – March 22, 1980

Authorized Form of Name

Birge, Raymond T. (Raymond Thayer), 1887-

Additional Forms of Names

Birge, Raymond T., 1887-

Birge, Raymond Thayer

Biography

Abstract

Physicist (spectroscopy, statistics). On the physics faculty at Syracuse University, 1913-1918; University of California at Berkeley from 1918, Physics Department chair, 1933-1955; Chairman of the Committee on Physical Constants, National Research Council, 1930-1937.

Important Dates

March 13, 1887Birth, New York (N.Y.).

1909Obtained AB., University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison (Wis.).

1910Obtained A.M., University of Wisconsin, Madison.

1913 – 1918Instructor (1913-15) and Assistant Professor of Physics (1915-18), Syracuse University, Syracuse (N.Y.).

1914Obtained Ph.D. (physics) on the photographing of the band spectrum of nitrogen, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison (Wis.).

1918 – 1980Instructor (1918-20); Assistant Professor (1920-22); Associate Professor (1922-26); Professor (1926-55); Chair, Department of Physics (1932-55); and Emeritus Professor of Physics (1955-80), University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley (Calif.).

1930 – 1937Chairman, Committee on Physical Constants, National Research Council.

1932Elected member, National Academy of Sciences.

1942 – 1947Secretary, Pacific Coast Division, American Physical Society (APS).

1954 – 1955Vice President (1954) and President (1955), American Physical Society (APS).

December 21, 1964Dedication ceremony for Raymond Thayer Birge Hall, University of California, Berkeley.

March 22, 1980Death, Berkeley (Calif.).

Occupation

Spectroscopist.

Places

Birth

New York (N.Y.)

Undergraduate Education

Madison (Wis.)

Graduate Education

Madison (Wis.)

Employment

Syracuse (N.Y.)

Berkeley (Calif.)

Death

Berkeley (Calif.)

Subjects

Atomic theory.

Medical physics.

Physics -- Study and teaching.

Spectrum analysis.

Statistical physics.

Relationships

People

Family

Birge, Caroline S. Raymond

Mother.

Birge, Carolyn Elizabeth

Daughter.

Birge, John Thaddeus

Father.

Birge, Robert W.

Son.

Walsh, Irene Adelaide

Wife, married August 1913.

Advisors & Collaborators

Colby, Walter F. (Walter Francis), 1880-

Co-wrote "Molecular Spectra in Gases."

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

Advised by Birge at University of California, Berkeley on the theory of intensity distribution in band systems.

Dieke, Gerhard Heinrich, 1901-1965

Advised by Birge at University of California, Berkeley on the structure of the ultraviolet spectrum of the hydrogen molecule.

Hall, Elmer E. (Elmer Edgar), 1870-1932

Worked together on "Physics for students of science & engineering."

Hopfield, John Joseph, 1891-

Advised by Birge at University of California, Berkeley on the spectra of hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen in the extreme ultraviolet.

Ingersoll, Leonard Rose, 1880-1958

Undergraduate advisor at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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

Co-wrote "Molecular Spectra in Gases."

Lewis, E. Percival (Exum Percival), 1863-1925

Worked together on "Physics for students of science & engineering."

Loomis, F. W. (Francis Wheeler), 1889-1976

Co-wrote "Molecular Spectra in Gases."

Mendenhall, Charles E. (Charles Elwood), 1872-1935

Ph.D. advisor at University of Wisconsin, Madison on the photographing of the band spectrum of nitrogen.

Page, Leigh, 1884-

Co-wrote "Molecular Spectra in Gases."

Colleagues

Abrahams, Elihu

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-1988

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Appelbaum, J. A. (Joel A.)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Arnowitt, Richard

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Barish, B. C. (Barry Clark), 1936-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Bradbury, Norris, 1909-1997

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Brode, Robert B. (Robert Bigham), 1900-1986

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Case, Kenneth M.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Chamberlain, O. (Owen)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Chew, Geoffrey F.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Chu, Steven

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Clarke, John, 1942-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Clauser, John F. (John Francis), 1942-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Cohen, Marvin L.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Commins, Eugene D.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Corson, Dale R.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Davidson, Ronald C.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Deser, S. (Stanley)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Emery, V. J. (Victor J.)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Falicov, L. M. (Leopoldo Maximo), 1933-1995

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Fetter, Alexander L., 1937-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Freedman, Daniel Z.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

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

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Glaser, D. A.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Glashow, Sheldon L.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Goldberger, Marvin L.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Goldhaber, Gerson

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Hahn, E. L. (Erwin Louis), 1921-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Heeger, Alan J.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Helmholz, August Carl, 1915-2003

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Holdren, John P.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Hopfield, John J.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Jackson, John David, 1925-2016

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Jeffries, C. D., 1922-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Kittel, Charles

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Langenberg, D. N., 1932-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901-1958

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Lee, T. D., 1926-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Livingston, M. Stanley (Milton Stanley)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Louie, Steven G., 1949-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Mandelstam, Stanley

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

McKee, Christopher, 1942-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

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

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Moyer, Burton J., 1912-1973

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Nierenberg, William Aaron, 1919-2000

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

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

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Phillips, J. C.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Price, Paul Buford

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Reynolds, John Hamilton, 1923-2000

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Richards, Paul L. (Paul Linford)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Ruderman, Malvin A.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Sachs, Robert Green, 1916-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Schiff, Leonard I. (Leonard Isaac), 1915-1971

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Schwinger, Julian, 1918-1994

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Seaborg, Glenn T. (Glenn Theodore), 1912-1999

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Segrè, Emilio

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Serber, R. (Robert)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Shen, Y. R.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Smoot, George

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Steinberger, J.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Steiner, Herbert M.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Teller, Edward, 1908-2003

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Thomas, Gareth, 1932-2014

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Tinkham, Michael

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Townes, Charles H.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Trilling, George H.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Watson, Kenneth M.

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Weinberg, Steven, 1933-

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Wick, G. C. (Gian Carlo)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Wu, C. S. (Chien-shiung), 1912-1997

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

York, Herbert F. (Herbert Frank)

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Additional

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

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

DuMond, Jesse W. M. (Jesse William Monroe), 1892-1976

Franck, James, 1882-1964

Hildebrand, Joel Henry, 1881-1983

Langmuir, Irving, 1881-1957

Lenzen, Victor F. (Victor Fritz), 1890-1975

McCrea, William Hunter

Michelson, Albert A. (Albert Abraham), 1852-1931

Morrison, Philip

Pegram, George Braxton, 1876-1958

Shankland, Robert S., 1908-

Sponer, Hertha, 1895-1968

Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981

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

Wilson, Olin C., 1909-1994

Institutions

Major Positions

Syracuse University. Department of Physics

Instructor and Assistant Professor of Physics.

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Physics

Instructor; Assistant Professor; Associate Professor; Professor; Chair, Department of Physics, and Emeritus Professor of Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Association for the Advancement of Science

American Association of Physics Teachers

American Institute of Physics

American Philosophical Society

American Physical Society

Secretary, Pacific Coast Division; Vice President; and President.

Lawrence Radiation Laboratory

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

National Research Council (U.S.)

Chairman, Committee on Physical Constants.

Optical Society of America

University of Wisconsin--Madison. Department of Physics

Obtained AB (1909), AM, and PhD in Physics (1914).

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

History of the [University of California, Berkeley] Physics Department, 1868-1942.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Karl K. Darrow papers, 1872-1978 (bulk 1917-1972).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Raymond Thayer Birge, 1960 May 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Raymond Thayer Birge, 1960. Raymond Thayer Birge, physicist: transcript, 1960.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Raymond T. Birge and Niels Bohr lectures, 1922-1969.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Raymond T. Birge comments on A. A. Michelson, 1962.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Raymond Thayer Birge correspondence relating to Oppenheimer hearings, circa 1928-1954.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Raymond Thayer Birge papers, 1909-1969.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Raymond Thayer Birge papers: additions, circa 1914-1969.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

The early history of the Physics Department of the University of California, 1963.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

University of Washington closed circuit television physics lecture series [motion picture], circa 1967.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

APS Office of the Treasurer records of George B. Pegram, 1926-1957.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Archive for the History of Quantum Physics, 1898-1950 (bulk).

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Dedication of Raymond Thayer Birge Hall, 1964.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Edward Condon papers, circa 1920-1974.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Edwin C. Kemble papers [microform], 1919-1937.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

J. H. Van Vleck papers, 1923-1959.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

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

Jesse W. M. DuMond papers, 1912-1976.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

LBL Office of the Director records of Edwin M. McMillan [microfilm], 1907-1991.

Archives and Records Office

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

One Cyclotron Road, Bldg. 69-107, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA

LBL Office of the Director records of Edwin M. McMillan, 1907-1991.

Pacific Sierra Region

National Archives and Records Administration

1000 Commodore Drive, San Bruno, CA 94066, USA

Niels Bohr material collected elsewhere, 1912-1962.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Oral history interview with Edward Uhler Condon, 1967 October 17, 18, 1968 April 27, 1973 September 11 and 12.

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 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 Joel Henry Hildebrand, 1974 March 11, 18, 26 and 1978 August 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Joel Henry Hildebrand, 1974 March 11, 18, 26 and 1978 August 9.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Oral history interview with Leonard B. Loeb, 1962 August 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Olin C. Wilson, 1978 July 11.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Owen Chamberlain, 1976 June 16, 21, August 4 and 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Owen Chamberlain, 1976.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Oral history interview with Philip Morrison, 1967 February 7.

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 Victor Fritz Lenzen, 1962 June 28.

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

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

Oral history joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck, 1962 July 9 to 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Remarks following an address by Professor Raymond T. Birge, The early history of the [University of California, Berkeley] Physics Department, and Birge's response on 'Birge Hall,' at October 2, 1963 Physics Department meeting, 1926.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

UC Berkeley Department of Physics records, circa 1919-2002.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Published Resources

Author

Molecular spectra in gases / report of the Committee on Radiation in Gases: Edwin C. Kemble, Raymond T. Birge, Walter F. Colby, F. Wheeler Loomis, Leigh Page.

Physics for students of science & engineering / Mechanics and sound [by] A. Wilmer Duff (editor) Wave motion and light [by] E. Percival Lewis, revised by R.T. Birge and E.E. Hall ; heat [by] Charles E. Mendenhall ; electricity and magnetism [by] Albert P. Carman and C.T. Knipp.

Physics for students of science & engineering [microform] / Mechanics and sound [by] A. Wilmer Duff (editor) Wave motion and light [by] E. Percival Lewis, revised by R.T. Birge and E.E. Hall ; heat [by] Charles E. Mendenhall ; electricity and magnetism [by] Albert P. Carman and C.T. Knipp.

Subject

Raymond Thayer Birge Physics Today obituary