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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Francis Birch

Photo

Dates

August 22, 1903 – January 30, 1992

Authorized Form of Name

Birch, Francis, 1903-

Additional Forms of Names

Birch, A. Francis

Birch, Francis

Biography

Abstract

Francis Birch was a geophysicist, who participated in the Manhattan Project. He helped develop the Birch-Murnaghan equation of state and also researched compressional wave velocities.

Important Dates

August 22, 1903Birth, Washington, DC.

1924Obtained SB in Electrical Engineering, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1924 – 1926Engineer, New York Telephone Company.

1926 – 1928Studied at the University of Strasbourg under Pierre Weiss, no degree earned, Strasbourg (France).

1929Obtained AM, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1932Obtained PhD in Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1932 – 1992Research Associate in Geophysics (1932-1943); Associate Professor of Geology (1943-1946); Professor of Geology (1946-1949); Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology (1949-1974); and Sturgis Hooper Emeritus Professor of Geology (1974-1992), Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1942 – 1943Staff Member, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Radiation Laboratory.

1943Officer, Bureau of Ships, United States Navy.

1943 – 1945Researcher, Manhattan Project (1943-1944) and Leader, Gun Group, Manhattan Project (1944-1945), Los Alamos Laboratory, Los Alamos (N.M.).

1945Little Boy Assembly Team Leader, Manhattan Project, Tinian Island.

1950Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1953 – 1954Chair, Division of Earth Sciences, National Research Council.

1964President, Geological Society of America.

1967Awarded National Medal of Science.

January 30, 1992Death, Cambridge (Mass.).

Occupation

Geophysicist.

Places

Birth

Washington (D.C.)

Undergraduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Graduate Education

Strasbourg (France)

Cambridge (Mass.)

Employment

Cambridge (Mass.)

Los Alamos (N.M.)

Death

Cambridge (Mass.)

Subjects

Earth -- Composition.

Geochemistry.

Geophysics.

Relationships

People

Colleagues

Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-1988

Both employed at the Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

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

Advisor at Harvard University and both employed at Harvard University.

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

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978

Both employed at Harvard University.

Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project and Project Alberta, Manhattan Project.

Hirschfelder, Joseph Oakland, 1911-

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Lockridge, R. W.

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Morrison, Philip

Both employed on Project Alberta, the Manhattan Project.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Parsons, William Sterling, 1901-1953

Both employed on Project Alberta, Manhattan Project.

Penney, William George Penney, Baron, 1909-1991

Both employed on Project Alberta, Manhattan Project.

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory and on Project Alberta, the Manhattan Project.

Serber, R. (Robert)

Both employed on Project Alberta, the Manhattan Project.

Shapiro, Maurice M. (Maurice Mandel), 1915-

Both employed at Los Alamos Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Waldman, Bernard, 1913-1986

Both employed on Project Alberta, Manhattan Project.

Additional

Ewing, J. I. (John I.)

Jeffreys, Harold, 1891-1989

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

Runcorn, S. K.

Sharp, Robert P. (Robert Phillip)

Institutions

Major Positions

Harvard University. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Research Associate in Geophysics; Associate Professor of Geology; Professor of Geology; Sturgis Hooper Professor of Geology; and Sturgis Hooper Emeritus Professor of Geology.

Harvard University. Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Obtained SB (Electrical Engineering) in 1924.

Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

Researcher and Leader, Gun Group, Manhattan Project.

Manhattan Project (U.S.)

Researcher (Los Alamos Laboratory); Leader, Gun Group (Los Alamos Laboratory); and Little Boy Assembly Team Leader (Tinian Island).

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Radiation Laboratory

Staff Member.

New York Telephone Company

Engineer.

United States. Navy Department. Bureau of Ships

Officer.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Geological Society of America

President.

Harvard University. Department of Physics

Obtained AM in 1929, PhD (Physics) in 1932.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

National Research Council (U.S.)

Chair, Division of Earth Sciences.

Universite de Strasbourg

Studied under Pierre Weiss (1926-1928), no degree earned.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Francis Birch papers, 1897-1992.

Archives. Pusey Library

Harvard University

Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

The nature of the solid earth : papers presented at a symposium held at Harvard University, Cambridge, 16-18 April, 1970 / Editor, Eugene C. Robertson ; Associate editors, James F. Hays and Leon Knopoff.

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 John and Betty Ewing, 1996-1997.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Phillip Sharp, 1990 April 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with S. Keith Runcorn, 1993 September 16 and 17.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Sir Harold Jeffreys papers, 1886-1999.

The Library

St. John's College

Cambridge CB2 1TP

Published Resources

Author

Handbook of physical constants / edited by Francis Birch, J.F. Schairer, and H. cecil Spicer.

Subject

Albert Francis Birch, Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

Francis Birch Physics Today obituary.