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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Walter M. Elsasser

Photo

Dates

March 20, 1904 – October 14, 1991

Authorized Form of Name

Elsasser, Walter M., 1904-

Additional Forms of Names

Elsässer, Walter Maurice, 1904-1991

Biography

Abstract

Walter M. Elsasser was Adjunct Professor of Geophysics at Johns Hopkins University (1975-1991). Other institutional affiliations include the University of Maryland and Princeton University. His research interest included geophysics and biology.

Important Dates

March 20, 1904Birth, Mannheim (Germany).

1927Obtained PhD in Physics, University of Göttingen, Göttingen (Germany).

1927Assistant in Physics, University of Leiden.

1928Assistant in Physics, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich.

1928 – 1930Assistant in Physics, Technische Hochschule, Berlin.

1930 – 1933Instructor in Physics, University of Frankfurt.

1933 – 1936Research Fellow, Institute Henri Poincare, University of Paris (Universite de Paris IV: Paris-Sorbonne).

1936 – 1941Assistant in Meteorology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (Calif.).

1941 – 1942Research Associate, Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory, Harvard University.

1942 – 1944Researcher, Signal Corps Laboratories, Fort Monmouth, United States Army.

1944 – 1945Member, Office of Scientific Research and Development, Radio Wave Propagation Committee, National Defense Research Committee.

1945 – 1947Industrial Research on Electronics Laboratories, Radio Corporation of America.

1947 – 1950Associate Professor of Physics, University of Pennsylvania.

1950 – 1956Professor of Physics, University of Utah, Salt Lake City (Utah).

1956 – 1960Professor, Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

1957Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1960 – 1962Professor, University of California, San Diego.

1962 – 1968Professor of Geophysics, Princeton University, Princeton (N.J.).

1968 – 1974Research Professor of Geophysics, Institute of Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics, University of Maryland, College Park (Md.).

1972Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

1975 – 1991Adjunct Professor of Geophysics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (Md.).

1987Awarded National Medal of Science.

October 14, 1991Death, Baltimore (Md.).

Occupation

Geophysicist.

Places

Birth

Mannheim (Germany)

Graduate Education

Göttingen (Germany)

Employment

Pasadena (Calif.)

Salt Lake City (Utah)

Princeton (N.J.)

Baltimore (Md.)

College Park (Md.)

Death

Baltimore (Md.)

Subjects

Atmospheric radiation.

Atomic theory.

Biology.

Dynamo theory (Cosmic physics).

Fluid mechanics.

Geophysics.

Greenhouse effect, Atmospheric.

Magnetism.

Meteorology.

Nuclear physics.

Physics -- Study and teaching.

Quantum theory.

Science philosophy.

Relationships

People

Advisors & Collaborators

Born, Max, 1882-1970

PhD advisor at University of Göttingen.

Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958

Advisor at Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich.

Colleagues

Brueckner, Keith A.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Callen, Herbert B.

Both employed at University of Pennsylvania.

Davidson, Ronald C.

Both employed at University of Maryland.

Davis, Stephen H., 1939-

Both employed at Johns Hopkins University.

Feher, George, 1924-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Giacconi, Riccardo

Both employed at Johns Hopkins University.

Griem, Hans R.

Both employed at University of Maryland.

Kohn, Walter, 1923-2016

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Kroll, Norman Myles, 1922-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Matthias, Bernd T., 1918-1980

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Mayer, Maria Goeppert, 1906-1972

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Pines, David, 1924-

Both employed at University of Pennsylvania.

Rosenbluth, M. N.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Rostoker, Norman

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

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

Both employed at University of Pennsylvania.

Suhl, Harry

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

York, Herbert F. (Herbert Frank)

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Additional

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Casimir, H. B. G. (Hendrik Brugt Gerhard), 1909-2000

Chadwick, James, 1891-1974

Cowling, T. G. (Thomas George)

Davisson, Clinton Joseph, 1881-1958

Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955

Feenberg, Eugene

Franck, James, 1882-1964

Heisenberg, Werner, 1901-1976

Inglis, David Rittenhouse, 1905-1995

Jordan, Pascual, 1902-1980

Laporte, Otto, 1902-1971

Lenard, Philipp, 1862-1947

McLachlan, Dan, 1905-

Orowan, E. (Egon), 1902-1989

Parker, E. N. (Eugene Newman), 1927-

Polanyi, Michael, 1891-1976

Runcorn, S. K.

Seitz, Frederick, 1911-2008

Sponer, Hertha, 1895-1968

Tamm, I. E. (Igor' Evgen'evich), 1895-1971

Uhlenbeck, George Eugène, 1900-1988

Von Kármán, Theodore, 1881-1963

Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957

Wien, W. (Wilhelm), 1864-1928

Institutions

Major Positions

Blue Hill Meteorological Observatory

Research Associate.

California Institute of Technology. Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences.

Assistant in Meteorology.

Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich. Departement Physik

Assistant in Physics.

Johns Hopkins University. Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Adjunct Professor of Geophysics.

Princeton University. Department of Geosciences

Professor of Geophysics.

Radio Corporation of America

Industrial Research on Electronics Laboratories.

Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden

Assistant in Physics.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Professor.

Technische Universität Berlin

Assistant in Physics.

United States. Army. Signal Corps

Researcher, Signal Corps Laboratories, Fort Monmouth.

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

Member, Radio Wave Propagation Committee.

Universität Frankfurt am Main

Instructor in Physics.

Universite de Paris IV: Paris-Sorbonne

Research Fellow, Institute Henri Poincare.

University of California, San Diego. Department of Physics

Professor.

University of Maryland, College Park. Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Applied Mathematics

Research Professor of Geophysics.

University of Pennsylvania. Department of Physics and Astronomy

Associate Professor of Physics.

University of Utah. Department of Physics & Astronomy

Professor of Physics.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Fellow.

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

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

Universität Göttingen

Obtained PhD in Physics (1927).

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Oral history interview with Walter M. Elsasser, 1962 May 29.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Walter M. Elsasser, 1985 November 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Walter M. Elsasser, 1986 March 12.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Walter M Elsasser response to History of Geophysics Survey, 1988.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Walter M. Elsasser papers, 1927-1987.

Special Collections, Milton S. Eisenhower Library

Johns Hopkins University

3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Subject

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

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Dan McLachlan incoming correspondence, 1940-1974.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Electronic Computer Project (ECP) records, 1940-1967.

Shelby White and Leon Levy Archives Center

Institute for Advanced Study

1 Einstein Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA

Eugene N. Parker response to History of Geophysics Survey, 1997.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Igor E. Tamm papers, 1921-1971. [In private hands]

contact Tamm family

In private hands

Moscow

Niels Bohr collection of manuscripts by other authors, 1910-1961.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Oral history interview with Egon Orowan, 1981 October 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ernst Pascual Jordan, 1963 June 17, 18, 19 and 20.

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 George Eugene Uhlenbeck, 1962 March 30, 31, April 5, May 10 and 1963 December 9.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Hendrik Brugt Gerhard Casimir, 1963 July 5 and 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with James Chadwick, 1969 April 15, 16, 17 and 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Michael Polanyi, 1962 February 15.

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 S. Keith Runcorn, 1993 September 16 and 17.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Thomas George Cowling, 1978 March 22.

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

Oral history joint interview with James Franck and Hertha Sponer-Franck, 1962 July 9 to 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Responses to History of Geophysics Survey, 1988.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

Atmospheric radiation tables, by Walter M. Elsasser, with Margaret F. Culbertson.

Atom and organism; a new approach to theoretical biology, by Walter M. Elsasser.

Subject

"Walter M. Elsasser: 1904-1991", Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

Walter M. Elsasser Physics Today obituary.

Walter M. Elsasser, Memoirs of a Physicist in the Atomic Age (New York: Science History Publications, 1978)