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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Lyman J. Briggs

Photo

Dates

May 7, 1874 – March 25, 1963

Authorized Form of Name

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

Additional Forms of Names

Briggs, Lyman James

Biography

Abstract

Lyman Briggs was chair of the top-secret Uranium Committee and also the director of the U.S. Bureau of Standards during the inter-war and World War II years. His research and work covered diverse fields including plant science, atomic physics, and aerodynamics.

Important Dates

May 7, 1874Birth, Assyria Township (Mich.).

1893Obtained BS, Michigan State College, East Lansing (Mich.).

1895Obtained MS in Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Mich.).

1896 – 1919Physicist, Bureau of Soils (1896-1906) and Physicist in Charge of Biophysical Investigations, Bureau of Plant Industry (1907-1919), United States Department of Agriculture, Washington (D.C.).

1901Obtained PhD, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (Md.).

1920 – 1963Physicist and Chief, Division of Mechanics and Sound (1920-1934); Assistant Director (1926-1933); Director (1933-1946); and Emeritus Director (1946-1963), National Bureau of Standards, Washington (D.C.).

1922Awarded Magellanic Premium, American Philosophical Society.

1932 – 1944Chair, Federal Specifications Board.

1933 – 1939Member, Federal Fire Council.

1933 – 1950Member, International Ice Petrology Board.

1935 – 1945President, National Conference on Weights and Measures.

1938President, American Physical Society.

1939 – 1940Chair, Advisory Committee on Uranium (absorbed into National Defense Research Committee in 1940).

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

1940 – 1948Member, Committee on Fudamental Physical Constants, National Research Council.

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

1942Chair, Section S-1, Office of Scientific Research and Development.

1942Member, National Academy of Sciences.

March 25, 1963Death, Washington (D.C.).

Occupation

Biophysicist.

Places

Birth

Assyria Township (Mich.)

Undergraduate Education

East Lansing (Mich.)

Graduate Education

Ann Arbor (Mich.)

Baltimore (Md.)

Employment

Washington (D.C.)

Death

Washington (D.C.)

Subjects

Aerodynamics.

Atomic and molecular physics.

Ballooning.

Biophysics.

Botany.

Soil science.

Relationships

People

Family

Briggs, Chauncey Lewis

Father.

Briggs, Katherine Cook

Wife.

Myers, Isabel Briggs

Daughter.

Myers, Peter Briggs

Grandson.

Advisors & Collaborators

Dryden, Hugh L. (Hugh Latimer), 1898-1965

Conducted research together in aerodynamics at the National Bureau of Standards.

Hayford, John Fillmore, 1868-1925

Developed a gyroscopic instrument for maintaining an artificial horizon below a ship's deck.

Heyl, Paul R.

Co-invented the earth inductor compass.

Colleagues

Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965

Both employed at the Office of Scientific Research and Development.

Berkner, Lloyd V. (Lloyd Viel), 1905-1967

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Brattain, Walter H. (Walter Houser), 1902-1987

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

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

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Coblentz, William W. (William Weber), 1873-1962

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

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

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Dunn, G. H. (Gordon H.), 1932-

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Fano, Ugo

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Foote, Paul D. (Paul Darwin), 1888-1971

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Forbush, Scott E., 1904-1984

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Hall, J. L. (John L.), 1934-

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Hofstadter, Robert, 1915-1990

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Klebanoff, P. S.

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Laporte, Otto, 1902-1971

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Lauritsen, Thomas, 1915-1973

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

McLean, William B. (William Burdette), 1914-1976

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Meggers, William F. (William Frederick), 1888-1966

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Neddermeyer, Seth H. (Seth Henry), 1907-1988

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Schubauer, Galen B. (Galen Brandt), 1904-

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Shankland, Robert S., 1908-

Both employed at the National Bureau of Standards.

Additional

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

Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974

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

Landa, Edward

Levelt Sengers, J. M. H.

Nimmo, John R.

Rowland, Henry Augustus, 1848-1901

Smyth, Henry De Wolf, 1898-1986

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

Institutions

Major Positions

United States. Department of Agriculture

Physicist, Bureau of Soils and Physicist in Charge of Biophysical Investigations, Bureau of Plant Industry.

United States. National Bureau of Standards

Physicist and Chief, Division of Mechanics and Sound; Assistant Director; Director; and Emeritus Director.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Philosophical Society

Received 1922 Magellanic Premium.

American Physical Society

President.

Cosmos Club (Washington, D.C.)

President.

Federal Fire Council (U.S.)

Member.

Johns Hopkins University. Department of Physics

Obtained PhD in 1901.

Michigan State University. Department of Physics and Astronomy

Obtained BS in 1893.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

National Conference on Weights and Measures

President.

National Research Council (U.S.)

Member, Committee on Fudamental Physical Constants.

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

Chair, Advisory Committee on Uranium and Chair, Committee on Uranium.

United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development

Chair, Section S-1.

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

Chair, Section on Uranium.

University of Michigan. Department of Physics

Obtained MS in 1895.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Lyman J. Briggs papers, 1882-1969.

University Archives and Historical Collections

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

Office files of the Director (Lyman J. Briggs), 1907-1962.

Office of the National Archives

National Archives and Records Administration

8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408, USA

Subject

Edward Condon papers, circa 1920-1974.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Henry De Wolf Smyth papers, 1885-1987.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Jesse W. Beams papers, 1926-1977.

Alderman Library. Special Collections

University of Virginia

Charlottesville, VA 22903, USA

Karl Darrow correspondence relating to history of the American Physical Society, 1943-1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

National Institute of Standards and Technology records, 1930-1978.

Office of the National Archives

National Archives and Records Administration

8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408, 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

William F. Meggers papers, 1917-1966.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

William Francis Gray Swann papers, 1903-1962.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Published Resources

Author

NBS war research : the National Bureau of Standards in World War II / by Lyman J. Briggs.

Subject

Lyman J. Briggs Physics Today obituary.

Lyman James Briggs, 1874-1963. National Academy of Sciences.

The Life and Scientific Contributions of Lyman J. Briggs, Soil Science Society of America Journal.