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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Gregory Breit

Photo

Dates

July 14, 1899 – September 13, 1988

Authorized Form of Name

Breit, Gregory, 1899-1981

Additional Forms of Names

Breit, Gregory

Biography

Abstract

Gregory Breit worked with many influential, twentieth century physicists including Merle Tuve, Eugene Wigner, Edward Condon, and John Wheeler. He researched nucleon properties, quantum electrodynamics, the theory of nuclear resonances, and heavy ion physics. His institutional affiliations include the Carnegie Institution of Washington, New York University, University of Wisconsin, and Yale University.

Important Dates

July 14, 1899Birth (Mykolaïv was part of Russia at this time), Mykolaïv (Mykolaïvsʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine).

1918Obtained AB, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (Md.).

1920Obtained AM, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (Md.).

1921Obtained PhD in Physics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (Md.).

1921 – 1922National Research Fellow, University of Leiden.

1922 – 1923National Research Fellow, Harvard University.

1923 – 1924Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Minnesota.

1924 – 1944Mathematical Physicist, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (1924-1929) and Research Associate (1929-1944), Carnegie Institution of Washington, Washington (D.C.).

1928Researcher, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich.

1929 – 1934Professor of Physics, New York University, New York (N.Y.).

1932 – 1935Member-at-Large, Division of Physical Sciences, National Research Council.

1934 – 1947Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison (Wis.).

1935 – 1936Visiting Member, Institute for Advanced Study.

1938 – 1941Member, Division of Physical Sciences, National Research Council.

1939Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1940Member, Technical Subcommittee, Advisory Committee on Uranium, National Defense Research Committee (superseded by the Office of Scientific Research and Development).

1940 – 1941Staff Member, Naval Ordnance Laboratory, United States Navy.

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

1942Coordinator, Fast-Neutron Project, Manhattan Project, Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Chicago (Ill.).

1942 – 1943Group Supervisor, Applied Physics Laboratory, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (Md.).

1942 – 1944Consultant, Executive Committee, National Defense Research Committee, Office of Scientific Research and Development.

1943 – 1945Head Physicist, Ballistic Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, United States Army.

1947 – 1968Professor of Physics (1947-1958) and Donner Professor of Physics (1958-1968), Yale University, New Haven (Conn.).

1964Awarded Franklin Medal, Franklin Institute.

1967Awarded National Medal of Science.

1968 – 1988Distinguished Professor of Physics (1968-1974) and Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Physics (1974-1988), State University College at Buffalo, Buffalo (N.Y.).

1969Awarded Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics, American Physical Society.

September 13, 1988Death, Salem (Or.).

Occupation

Nuclear physicist.

Places

Birth

Mykolaïv (Mykolaïvsʹka oblastʹ, Ukraine)

Undergraduate Education

Baltimore (Md.)

Graduate Education

Baltimore (Md.)

Employment

Washington (D.C.)

New York (N.Y.)

Madison (Wis.)

Chicago (Ill.)

New Haven (Conn.)

Buffalo (N.Y.)

Death

Salem (Or.)

Subjects

Ionosphere.

Nuclear physics.

Protons--Scattering.

Relationships

People

Family

Breit, Lubov

Sister.

Breit, Marjory Elizabeth McDill

Wife.

Advisors & Collaborators

Ames, Joseph Sweetman, 1864-1943

Ph.D. advisor at Johns Hopkins University, "Distributed Capacity of Inductance Coils."

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

First described proton-proton dispersion together.

Kittel, Charles

Advised by Breit at University of Wisconsin, Madison, "The Fine Structure of Nuclear Energy Levels on the Alpha Model."

Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982

Used a pulsed radio transmitter to demonstrate the existence of the ionosphere. Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington and on the Technical Subcommittee, Advisory Committee on Uranium.

Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008

Both employed at New York University and described the Breit-Wheeler process.

Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-1995

Investigated the theory of nuclear resonances together. Both employed at University of Wisconsin, Madison and Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Colleagues

Adair, Robert K., 1924-

Both employed at Yale University.

Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965

Both employed at the Office of Scientific Research and Development and Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Barschall, H. H. (Henry Herman), 1915-1997

Both employed at University of Wisconsin, Madison and Los Alamos National Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

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

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

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

Both employed at Yale University.

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

Both employed at Harvard University.

Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969

Both employed at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Bromley, D. Allan (David Allan), 1926-2005

Both employed at Yale University.

Christy, Robert F.

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Compton, Arthur Holly, 1892-1962

Both employed at Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Doan, Richard Lloyd, 1898-

Both employed at Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Feenberg, Eugene

Both employed at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Fleming, J. A. (John Adam), 1877-1956

Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Forbush, Scott E., 1904-1984

Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Gunn, Ross, 1897-1966

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

Hafstad, Lawrence, 1904-

Both employed at Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Haworth, Leland J. (Leland John), 1904-

Both employed at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Herb, R. G. (Raymond George), 1908-1996

Both employed at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Hilberry, Norman, 1899-

Both employed at New York University and the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Hughes, Vernon W.

Both employed at Yale University.

Klein, Martin J.

Both employed at Yale University.

Lamb, Willis E. (Willis Eugene), 1913-2008

Both employed at Yale University.

Lebowitz, Joel Louis, 1930-

Both employed at Yale University.

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

Both employed at New York University.

Lyman, Theodore, 1874-1954

Both employed at Harvard University.

Mulliken, Robert Sanderson

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project, and Harvard University.

Pegram, George Braxton, 1876-1958

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

Pierce, George Washington, 1872-1956

Both employed at Harvard University.

Reppy, John David

Both employed at Yale University.

Rustgi, Moti Lal

Both employed at State University College at Buffalo.

Sachs, Robert Green, 1916-

Both employed at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Sandweiss, Jack H.

Both employed at Yale University.

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

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Serber, R. (Robert)

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Slichter, Louis B. (Louis Byrne), 1896-1978

Both employed at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Szilard, Leo

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Tate, John T. (John Torrence), 1889-1950

Both employed at the University of Minnesota.

Teller, Edward, 1908-2003

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981

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

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

Both employed at University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Waterman, Alan Tower, 1892-1967

Both employed at Yale University.

Weinberg, Alvin Martin, 1915-2006

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

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

Both employed at the Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory, Manhattan Project.

Additional

Bloch, Felix, 1905-

Bloembergen, N.

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Brown, G. E. (Gerald Edward), 1926-

Breit taught Brown at University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Creutz, E.

Gillmor, C. Stewart, 1938-

Goudsmit, Samuel A. (Samuel Abraham), 1902-1978

Heisenberg, Werner, 1901-1976

Hull, McAllister H.

Inglis, David Rittenhouse, 1905-1995

Jewett, Frank B. (Frank Baldwin), 1879-1949

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

Laporte, Otto, 1902-1971

Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901-1958

Marwell, Jeremy C.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Petersen, Aage

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

Saperstein, Alvin M.

Shankland, Robert S., 1908-

Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, 1908-2002

Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000

Zilsel, Paul Rudolph, 1923-

Zimmerman, George O.

Institutions

Major Positions

Carnegie Institution of Washington. Department of Terrestrial Magnetism

Mathematical Physicist.

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Departement Physik

Researcher.

Harvard University. Department of Physics

National Research Fellow.

Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, N.J.)

Visiting Member.

Johns Hopkins University. Applied Physics Laboratory

Group Supervisor.

Manhattan Project (U.S.)

Coordinator, Fast-Neutron Project, Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory.

New York University. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics.

Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden

National Research Fellow.

State University College at Buffalo

Distinguished Professor of Physics and Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Physics.

U.S. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory

Head Physicist.

United States. Naval Ordnance Laboratory (Indian Head, Md.)

Staff Member.

United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development. Metallurgical Laboratory

Coordinator, Fast-Neutron Project, Manhattan Project.

University of Minnesota. Department of Physics and Astronomy

Assistant Professor of Physics.

University of Wisconsin--Madison. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics.

Yale University. Physics Department

Professor of Physics and Donner Professor of Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Physical Society

Associate Editor of the Physical Review and 1969 Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics Recipient.

Franklin Institute (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Awarded Franklin Medal in 1964.

Johns Hopkins University. Department of Physics

Obtained AB in 1918, AM in 1920, and PhD in 1921.

Lawrence Radiation Laboratory

Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

National Research Council (U.S.)

Member-at-Large, Division of Physical Sciences and Member, Division of Physical Sciences.

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

Technical Subcommittee, Advisory Committee on Uranium.

United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development. National Defense Research Committee

Member, Section on Uranium and Consultant, Executive Committee.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Banquet of the American Physical Society [sound recording] 1969 April 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Gregory Breit papers, 1929-1980 (bulk 1960-1970).

Manuscripts and Archives

Yale University Library

Box 208240, New Haven, CT 06520, USA

Gregory Breit personnel folder, 1968-1973.

University Archives

State University of New York at Buffalo

420 Capen Hall, Amherst Campus, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA

Gregory Breit selected papers [microform], (bulk 1950-1973).

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Gregory Breit Symposium [sound recording], 1968 May 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Gregory Breit, 1975 December 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Aage Petersen collection of reprints and manuscripts, 1922-1976.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Alvin M. Saperstein student notes of lectures given by Gregory Breit, 1952-1954.

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

Conversations with David Inglis, [videorecording] Feb.-May 1989.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Department of Terrestrial Magnetism Ionospheric Section records, 1927-1959, (bulk 1942-1946).

Library and Archives

Carnegie Institution of Washington. Department of Terrestrial Magnetisim

5241 Broad Branch Road NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA

Dogs that did not bark: Nuclear fission, scientific self-censorship, and the specter of a Nazi Bomb, 1999.

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

Eugene Feenberg correspondence, 1927-1958.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

George O. Zimmerman collection of lecture notes by Gregory Breit and Lars Onsager, circa 1960-1961.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Hans Bethe papers, circa 1931-1992.

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

Cornell University

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

I. I. Rabi papers, 1899-1989 (bulk 1945-1968).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

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

John A. Wheeler papers, 1894-2008.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Moti Lal Rustgi papers, 1952-1992.

University Archives

State University of New York at Buffalo

420 Capen Hall, Amherst Campus, Buffalo, NY 14260, USA

Oral history interview with David Rittenhouse Inglis, 1977 May 9 and 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edward Creutz, 2006 January 9 and 10.

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 Eugene Feenberg, 1973 April 13 and 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Eugene Paul Wigner, 1963 November 21 and December 3, 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Eugene Paul Wigner, 1966 November 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Eugene Paul Wigner, 1984 April 12.

Seeley G. Mudd Library

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ 08544

Oral history interview with Felix Bloch, 1968 August 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with I. I. Rabi, 1963 December 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. H. Van Vleck, 1963 October 2 and 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Joel Bengston, 1986 July 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Archibald Wheeler, 1967 April 5.

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 Lawrence Hafstad, 1984 June 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Merle Antony Tuve, 1967 March 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Merle Antony Tuve, 1982 January 13 and February 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Nicolaas Bloembergen, 1983 June 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Otto Laporte, 1964 January 29 and 31.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Paul Rudolph Zilsel, 1988 March 21 and 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Raymond George Herb, 1976 April.

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 Frederick Weisskopf, 1966 September 21 and December 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Werner Heisenberg, 1962 November 30, 1963 February 7, 11, 13, 15, 19, 22, 25, 27, 28 and 1963 July 5, 12.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Pais Prize Session [sound recording], 2017 March 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Physical Review records, 1940-1947.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

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

Samuel A. Goudsmit papers, 1921-1979.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Physics records, 1885-1962.

University Archives

University of Wisconsin--Madison

Steenbock Library, Madison, WI 53706, USA

Washington Conference on Theoretical Physics records, 1933-1947.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

Facets of physics / Edited by D. Allan Bromley and Vernon W. Hughes.

Nuclear physics / by Enrico Fermi [et al.].

The Gregory Breit Centennial Symposium : Yale University, USA / editors, Vernon W. Hughes, Francesco Iachello, Dimitri Kusnezov.

Subject

Fly with Eagles, Annual Reviews of Nuclear and Particle Science 51 (2001): 1-22.

Gregory Breit Physics Today obituary.

Gregory Breit: 1899-1981, Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

The Big Story: Tuve, Breit, and Ionospheric Sounding, 1923-1928, in The Earth, the Heavens, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, ed. Gregory A. Good.