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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as Subject

Jesse W. Beams

Photo

Dates

December 25, 1898 – July 23, 1977

Authorized Form of Name

Beams, Jesse W. (Jesse Wakefield), 1898-1977

Additional Forms of Names

Beams, Jesse

Beams, Jesse W., 1898-1977

Beams, Jesse Wakefield, 1898-1977

Biography

Abstract

Jesse Beams' contributions include construction of the first linear electron accelerator, development of the magnetic ultracentrifuge and application of the ultracentrifuge to the separation of Uranium isotopes. He also devised a more accurate apparatus for measuring G, the universal gravitational constant.

Important Dates

December 25, 1898Birth, Belle Plaine (Kan.).

1921Obtained BA in Physics, Fairmont College (now Fairmont State University), Fairmont (W. Va.).

1922Obtained MA in Mathematics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison (Wis.).

1922 – 1923Instructor in Physics and Mathematics, Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University).

1925Obtained PhD in Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville (Va.).

1925 – 1926National Research Council (NRC) Fellow in Physics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville (Va.).

1926 – 1928National Research Council (NRC) Fellow in Physics (1926-1927) and Instructor in Physics (1927-1928), Yale University.

1928 – 1977Associate Professor to Professor of Physics (1928-1953); Professor of Physics (1929-1953); Chair, Department of Physics (1948-1962); Francis H. Smith Professor of Physics (1953-1969); and Emeritus Professor of Physics (1969-1977), University of Virginia, Charlottesville (Va.).

1940 – 1941Member, Committee on Uranium, National Defense Research Committee.

1941 – 1942Member, Section on Uranium, Office of Scientific Research and Development.

1941 – 1944Researcher, Office of Scientific Research and Development, University of Virginia, Charlottesville (Va.).

1942 – 1960Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Ballistics Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, United States Army.

1943Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1948 – 1954Member, Board of Directors, Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies.

1948 – 1969Member, Board of Directors, Virginia Institute for Scientific Research.

1951 – 1955Member, Division of Physical Sciences, National Research Council.

1952 – 1954Member, Physics Division, National Science Foundation.

1954 – 1960Member, General Advisory Committee, United States Atomic Energy Committee.

1958President, American Physical Society.

1960 – 1970Member, Board of Directors, Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies.

1967Awarded National Medal of Science.

July 23, 1977Death, Charlottesville (Va.).

Occupation

Nuclear physicist.

Places

Birth

Belle Plaine (Kan.)

Undergraduate Education

Fairmont (W. Va.)

Graduate Education

Madison (Wis.)

Charlottesville (Va.)

Employment

Charlottesville (Va.)

Death

Charlottesville (Va.)

Subjects

Atomic bomb.

Centrifugation.

Gravitation (Constant of).

Kerr effect.

Low temperatures.

Nuclear physics.

Nuclear weapons.

Uranium enrichment.

Relationships

People

Advisors & Collaborators

Ney, Edward Purdy, 1920-

Advised by Beams at University of Virginia, "A 60 degree mass spectrometer and its application to: the measurement of a self diffusion coefficient, continuous measurement of isotopic ratios, the isotopic constitution of silicon, the measurement of isotopic mass ratios," and both employed at University of Virginia.

Street, Jabez Curry, 1906-

Advised by Beams at University of Virginia, "The fall of potential in electrical discharges."

Colleagues

Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965

Both employed at the Office of Scientific Research and Development.

Berko, Stephan

Both employed at University of Virginia.

Breit, Gregory, 1899-1981

Both worked on the Technical Subcommittee, Advisory Committee on Uranium.

Davisson, Clinton Joseph, 1881-1958

Both employed at University of Virginia.

Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901-1958

Both employed at Yale University.

Nichols, E. L. (Edward Leamington), 1854-1937

Both employed at University of Virginia.

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

Both employed at Yale University.

Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981

Both worked on the Technical Subcommittee, Advisory Committee on Uranium.

Waterman, Alan Tower, 1892-1967

Both employed at Yale University.

Zeleny, John, 1872-

Both employed at Yale University.

Additional

Aebersold, Paul C. (Paul Clarence), 1910-1967

Briggs, Lyman J. (Lyman James), 1874-1963

Brown, Frederick Lyons, 1890-

Cranberg, Lawrence, 1917-

DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994

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

Nier, Alfred O. (Alfred Otto), 1911-1994

Roe, Anne, 1904-1991

Solomon, Arthur K. (Arthur Kaskel), 1912-2002

Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982

Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-1995

Williams, Dudley, 1912-

Zink, Alexander J.

Institutions

Major Positions

Auburn University. Department of Physics

Instructor in Physics and Mathematics.

Auburn University. Mathematics Department

Instructor in Physics and Mathematics.

University of Virginia. Department of Physics

Obtained PhD (1925). National Research Council (NRC) Fellow in Physics; Associate Professor to Professor of Physics; Professor of Physics; Chair, Department of Physics; Francis H. Smith Professor of Physics; and Emeritus Professor of Physics.

Yale University. Physics Department

National Research Council (NRC) Fellow in Physics and Instructor in Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Physical Society

President.

Carnegie Institution of Washington. Department of Terrestrial Magnetism

Fairmont State University

Obtained BA in Physics (1921).

Manhattan Project (U.S.)

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

National Research Council (U.S.)

National Research Council (U.S.). Division of Physical Sciences

Member.

National Science Foundation (U.S.). Division of Physics

Member.

Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies

Member, Board of Directors.

U.S. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory

Member, Scientific Advisory Committee.

U.S. Atomic Energy Commission

Member, General Advisory Committee.

United States. Council of National Defense. National Defense Research Committee

Member, Committee on Uranium.

United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development

Member, S-1 Uranium Committee and Researcher, University of Virginia.

University of Wisconsin--Madison. Mathematics Department

Obtained MS (1922).

Virginia Institute for Scientific Research

Member, Board of Directors.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Jesse W. Beams papers, 1926-1977.

Alderman Library. Special Collections

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA

Jesse W. Beams selected correspondence, 1945-1949.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

A brief history of the phyics department of the University of Virginia, 1922-1961.

Alderman Library. Special Collections

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA

Anne Roe papers, 1949-1971 (bulk).

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Fifty years of physics: Some personal memories, circa 1976.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Lawrence Cranberg papers, 1962-2000.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Erwin Louis Hahn, 1986 August 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Frederick L. Brown, 1975 November 19.

Alderman Library. Special Collections

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA

William Francis Gray Swann papers, 1903-1962.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Working for scientists and higher education: my experiences working for the University of Virginia, 1995.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Subject

Jesse W. Beams Physics Today obituary.