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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Philip Morrison

Photo

Dates

November 7, 1915 – April 22, 2005

Authorized Form of Name

Morrison, Philip

Additional Forms of Names

Morrison, P. (Philip)

Morrison, Philip, 1915-2005

Morrison, Philip, -2005

Biography

Abstract

American physicist (1915-2005). Ph.D., theoretical physics (University of California at Berkeley, 1940). University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, 1943; group leader, Los Alamos Laboratory (1944-1946); faculty, Cornell University (1946-1964); Massachusetts Institute of Technology, professor (1965- ). Morrison actively opposed development of nuclear weapons and was a proponent of physics and higher education worldwide. Research in theoretical physics, astrophysics, cosmology, interstellar communications, and the origins of life.

Important Dates

November 7, 1915Birth, Somerville (N.J.).

1936Received B.S., Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (Pa.).

1940Received Ph.D. in theoretical physics, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley (Calif.).

1941Instructor in physics, San Francisco State College.

1941 – 1942Instructor in physics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

1943 – 1946Researcher, Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory (1943-1944); Physicist and Group Leader, Los Alamos Laboratory (1944-1946); and Co-leader of pit team, Project Alberta (1945), Manhattan Project.

1946 – 1965Associate Professor (1946-56) and Professor of Physics (1956-65), Cornell University, Ithaca (N.Y.).

1947 – 1949President, Federation of American Scientists.

1965Received the Oersted Medal of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).

1965 – 2005Professor of Physics (1965-1976); Institute Professor (1976-1986); and Institute Professor Emeritus (1986-2005), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge (Mass.).

1971Member, National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

1972 – 1976Chair, Federation of American Scientists.

1977 – 1979Council Member, American Astronomical Society (AAS).

1982Received Andrew Gemant Award, American Institute of Physics (AIP).

April 22, 2005Death, Cambridge (Mass.).

Occupation

Nuclear physicist and astronomer.

Places

Birth

Somerville (N.J.)

Undergraduate Education

Pittsburgh (Pa.)

Graduate Education

Berkeley (Calif.)

Employment

Ithaca (N.Y.)

Cambridge (Mass.)

Death

Cambridge (Mass.)

Subjects

Astrophysics.

Atomic bomb -- Japan -- Blast effect.

Atomic bomb.

Black holes (Astronomy).

Cosmic rays.

Neutrinos.

Nuclear disarmament.

Nuclear fission.

Nuclear physics.

Symmetry (Physics).

World War, 1939-1945 -- Moral and ethical aspects.

Relationships

People

Family

Kramer, Emily

First wife, married in 1938; divorced in 1961. Edited "Charles Babbage on the Principles and Development of the Calculator" together.

Morrison, Moses

Father.

Morrison, Phylis, 1927-

Second wife, married in 1965. Co-wrote multiple books, articles, and book reviews.

Rosenbloom, Tillie

Mother.

Advisors & Collaborators

Bethe, Hans A. (Hans Albrecht), 1906-2005

Co-wrote the textbook "Elementary Nuclear Physics." Both employed at Cornell University.

Billingham, John, 1930-2013

Co-edited "The search for extraterrestrial intelligence, SETI."

Brecher, Kenneth

Co-wrote multiple articles.

Cocconi, Giuseppe

Co-wrote a paper about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI).

Dewitt, Hugh E.

Advised by Morrison at Cornell University on the nuclear photoeffect.

Holcomb, Donald Frank, 1925-

Co-wrote "Instructor's handbook, My father's watch."

Jaffe, Jack

Advised by Morrison at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on the motion of light in spherically symmetric metrics.

Kellogg, Paul J.

Advised by Morrison at Cornell University.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Ph.D. advisor at University of California, Berkeley in atomic electrodynamics.

Rossi, Bruno, 1905-1993

Co-wrote a paper. Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Sartori, Leo

Collaborated on a theory of light from type I supernovas.

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

Co-wrote an article.

Wolfe, John, 1933-

Co-edited "The search for extraterrestrial intelligence, SETI."

Colleagues

Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Almy, Gerald Marks, 1904-

Both employed at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Al'tshuler, B. L.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-1988

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory and on Project Alberta, Manhattan Project.

Anderson, Herbert Lawrence

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Ashcroft, Neil W.

Both employed at Cornell University.

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

Both employed at Cornell University.

Benedek, George Bernard, 1928-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Birch, Francis, 1903-1992

Both employed on Project Alberta, the Manhattan Project.

Birgeneau, Robert J. (Robert Joseph), 1942-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Bitter, Francis, 1902-1967

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Compton, Arthur Holly, 1892-1962

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Coppi, B.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Corson, Dale R.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Daniels, Farrington, 1889-1972

Both employed at Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Davidson, Ronald C.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dempster, Arthur Jeffrey

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Deutsch, Martin, 1917-2002

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Dresselhaus, M. S.

Both employed at Cornell University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Dyson, Freeman J.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Enge, Harald A.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954

Both employed at Project Alberta (Manhattan Project).

Feshbach, Herman

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Feynman, Richard P. (Richard Phillips), 1918-1988

Both employed at Cornell University.

Franck, James, 1882-1964

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Freedman, Daniel Z.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Glimm, James

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Goldberger, Marvin L.

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Goldhaber, Gertrude S. -1998

Both employed at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Goldhaber, Maurice, 1911-2011

Both employed at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Goldstone, Jeff Alan

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Greisen, Kenneth

Both employed at Cornell University.

Guth, Alan H.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Haroche, S.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Hilberry, Norman, 1899-

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Jackiw, Roman W.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Javan, Ali, 1926-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Joannopoulos, J. D. (John D.), 1947-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kaspi, Victoria Michelle, 1967-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kastner, Marc A.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kerst, Donald William, 1911-1993

Both employed at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Ketterle, Wolfgang

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kinoshita, T. (Toichiro)

Both employed at Cornell University.

Kistiakowsky, George B. (George Bogdan), 1900-1982

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Kleppner, Daniel

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kraushaar, William L.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Krumhansl, J. A. (James A.)

Both employed at Cornell University.

Lax, Benjamin

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Lee, David M.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Lee, P. A. (Patrick A.), 1946-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Lieb, Elliott H.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Livingston, M. Stanley (Milton Stanley)

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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

Both employed at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

McDaniel, Boyce D. (Boyce Dawkins), 1917-

Both employed at Cornell University.

Mermin, N. David

Both employed at Cornell University.

Merritt, Ernest, 1865-1948

Both employed at Cornell University.

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

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Overhauser, Albert Warner, 1925-

Both employed at Cornell University.

Page, Lyman A.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Parsons, William Sterling, 1901-1953

Both employed on Project Alberta, the Manhattan Project.

Penney, William George Penney, Baron, 1909-1991

Both employed on Project Alberta, the Manhattan Project.

Phillips, William D. (William Daniel), 1948-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Pohl, Robert O.

Both employed at Cornell University.

Porkolab, Miklos

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Both employed on Project Alberta, the Manhattan Project.

Randall, Lisa

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Rasmussen, Norman C.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Read, Nicholas

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Schwinger, Julian, 1918-1994

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

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

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Serber, R. (Robert)

Both employed on Project Alberta, the Manhattan Project and University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Sessler, A. M. (Andrew Marienhoff)

Both employed at Cornell University.

Shull, Clifford Glenwood

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Simpson, John A. (John Alexander), 1916-2000

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

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

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Smyth, Henry De Wolf, 1898-1986

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Stanley, H. Eugene (Harry Eugene), 1941-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Stratton, Julius Adams, 1901-1994

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Szilard, Leo

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

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).

Turkevich, Anthony, 1916-2002

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Waldman, Bernard, 1913-1986

Both employed on Project Alberta, the Manhattan Project.

Weinberg, Alvin Martin, 1915-2006

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Weinberg, Steven, 1933-

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).

Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-1995

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Wilczek, Frank

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Wilson, Kenneth G. (Kenneth Geddes), 1936-2013

Both employed at Cornell University.

Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000

Both employed at Cornell University.

Zacharias, Jerrold Reinach, 1905-1986

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Additional

Agnew, Harold M.

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

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Christy, Robert F.

Attended graduate school together.

Doering, Robert, 1946-

Dupree, Andrea K.

Fowler, William A.

Hawkins, David, 1913-2002

Koch, Herman William, 1920-

Lauritsen, Charles Christian, 1892-1968

Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901-1958

Linshitz, Henry, 1919-

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

Palevsky, Mary, 1949-

Penzias, Arno A.

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

Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937

Salpeter, Edwin E.

Schramm, David N.

Segrè, Emilio

Stern, Otto, 1888-1969

Sullivan, Woodruff Turner

Thompson, William Bell, 1922-1995

Tolman, Richard C. (Richard Chace), 1881-1948

Turner, Edwin Lewis

Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981

Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008

Zinn, Walter H. (Walter Henry), 1906-2000

Institutions

Major Positions

Cornell University. Department of Physics

Associate Professor and Professor of Physics.

Manhattan Project (U.S.)

Researcher, Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory; Physicist and Group Leader, Los Alamos Laboratory; and Co-leader of pit team, Project Alberta.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics; Institute Professor; and Institute Professor Emeritus.

San Francisco State College

Instructor in physics.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Department of Physics

Instructor in Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Association of Physics Teachers

American Astronomical Society

Council Member.

American Physical Society

Argonne National Laboratory

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

Carnegie Institute of Technology. Department of Physics

Obtained B.S.

Commission on College Physics

Exploratorium (Organization)

Federation of American Scientists

President and Council member.

Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Princeton University. Department of Physics

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Physics

Obtained Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics.

University of California, San Diego. Department of Physics

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Joint ceremonial session of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers [sound recording], 1963 January 24.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Nuclear war [videorecording]: waking from the nightmare: a lecture in the Visiting Scholars Program, 1987 December 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, 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 Philip Morrison, 2002 December 19 and 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Philip Morrison, 2003 February 22 and August 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Philip Morrison lecture [sound recording], 1958.

Carl A. Kroch Library. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections

Cornell University

2B Carl A Kroch Library, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

Philip Morrison papers, 1934-1963.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

Physical Science Study Committee records, circa 1958-1971

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

Reminiscences about the discovery of optical pulsars [sound recording] / 1975.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Seminar for science writers on quasars [sound recording], 1965 January 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Sessions from the 9th annual meeting [sound recording], 1966 October 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Symposium of the Forum on Physics and Society [sound recording] : Prize session; 1982 April 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The approximate nature of physical symmetries [sound recording] / Sixteenth Richtmyer Memorial Lecture of the AAPT, 1958 January 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The evolution of galaxies and implications for cosmology [sound recording] : papers summarizing the conference.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The limits of the universe [sound recording] : Is it open or closed? / 1976 February 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The Nature of Things: filmed interview, 1981.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

The worlds of Philip Morrison [video and audio recording], 1986.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

Subject

Arno A. Penzias papers, 1931-2006 (bulk 1963-1998).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

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

Computers at MIT oral history collection, 1976-1977.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

David Hawkins papers, 1863-2001.

Libraries. Archives Department

University of Colorado

Campus Box 184, Boulder, CO 80302-0184, USA

Education Development Center records, 1957-1971.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

Gravity Research Foundation essays and abstracts, 1949-2014.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

History of physics audio-visual collection, circa 1918-1996, 1960-1988 (bulk)

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Karl Taylor Compton lectures records, 1985.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

Manhattan Project videohistory collection [videorecording], 1987-1990.

Archives

Smithsonian Institution

Capital Gallery, Suite 3000, MRC 507, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024-2520, USA

Oral history interview with Andrea Dupree, 2007 October 29.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with David Schramm, 1988 March 29.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edwin Ernest Salpeter, 1978 March 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edwin Turner, 1988 February 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Freeman J. Dyson, 1986 December 17.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Henry Linshitz, 1988 February 23.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Herman William Koch, 1986 September 16 to 11 October 1987.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Archibald Wheeler, 1988 May 4, May 23 and November 28.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Doering, 2008 December 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Outtakes and candid footage from the production of : The world of Enrico Fermi, circa 1930-1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Physical Science Study Committee oral history collection, 1956-1976.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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

Text materials for documentary film: The world of Enrico Fermi, circa 1930-1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

The world of Enrico Fermi [motion picture].

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

William Thompson papers, 1963-1995.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Woodruff T. Sullivan papers, 1946-2009.

Archives

National Radio Astronomy Observatory

520 Edgemont Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA

Published Resources

Author

Elementary nuclear theory / [by] Hans A. Bethe and Philip Morrison.

Instructor's handbook, My father's watch : aspects of the physical world / Donald F. Holcomb, Philip Morrison.

Nothing is too wonderful to be true / Philip Morrison.

Philip Morrison's long look at the literature : his reviews of a hundred memorable science books / by Philip Morrison.

Powers of ten : a book about the relative size of things in the universe and the effect of adding another zero / by Philip and Phylis Morrison and the Office of Charles and Ray Eames.

The ring of truth : an inquiry into how we know what we know / Philip and Phylis Morrison.

The Search for extraterrestrial intelligence, SETI / edited by Philip Morrison, John Billingham, and John Wolfe ; prepared at Ames Research Center.

Subject

Atomic fragments : a daughter's questions / Mary Palevsky.

Philip Morrison Physics Today obituary