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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

George Gamow

Photo

Dates

March 4, 1904 – August 19, 1968

Authorized Form of Name

Gamow, George, 1904-1968

Additional Forms of Names

Gamov, Georgii Antonovic, 1904-1968

Gamow, George Antony, 1904-1968

Kai-mo-fu, G., 1904-1968

Biography

Abstract

George Gamow was Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Colorado, Boulder (1956-1968). Other institutional affiliations included George Washington University and the University of Leningrad. His research interests included beta decay and the big bang theory.

Important Dates

March 4, 1904Birth, Odesa (Ukraine).

1922 – 1923Matriculated in Physical-Mathematical Institute, Odessa State University (Novorossia University), Odesa (Ukraine).

1923 – 1929Obtained PhD in Physics, University of Leningrad (Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet), Saint Petersburg (Russia).

1928 – 1929Carlsberg Fellow, Theoretical Physics Institute, University of Copenhagen (Københavns universitet).

1929 – 1930Rockefeller Fellow, Cambridge University.

1930 – 1931University Fellow, Theoretical Physics Institute, University of Copenhagen (Københavns universitet).

1931 – 1933Professor, University of Leningrad (Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet).

1934 – 1956Professor, George Washington University, Washington (D.C.).

1953Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1956 – 1968Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder, Boulder (Colo.).

August 19, 1968Death, Boulder (Colo.).

Occupation

Nuclear physicist.

Places

Birth

Odesa (Ukraine)

Undergraduate Education

Odesa (Ukraine)

Graduate Education

Saint Petersburg (Russia)

Employment

Washington (D.C.)

Boulder (Colo.)

Death

Boulder (Colo.)

Subjects

Astrophysics.

Beta decay.

Big bang theory.

Nuclear physics.

Quantum theory.

Relationships

People

Family

Gamow, Barbara, 1905-1976

Second wife, married 1958.

Gamow, Igor

Son.

Gamow, Rho

First wife, married 1932.

Advisors & Collaborators

Alpher, Ralph, 1921-2007

Advised by Gamow at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory on origin of elements.

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

PhD advisor at University of Copenhagen (Københavns universitet).

Born, Max, 1882-1970

PhD advisor at University of Göttingen.

Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937

Advisor at University of Cambridge.

Teller, Edward, 1908-2003

Collaborated on the Gamow-Teller theory of weak interactions. Both employed at George Washington University.

Colleagues

Branscomb, Lewis M., 1926-

Both employed at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

Both employed at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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

Both employed at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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

Both employed at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Haurwitz, Bernhard

Both employed at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Additional

Amaldi, Edoardo

Ancker-Johnson, Betsy, 1929-

Atkinson, Robert d'Escourt, 1898-1982

Bartlett, Albert A.

Bethe, Hans A. (Hans Albrecht), 1906-2005

Bloch, Felix, 1905-

Bothe, W. (Walther), 1891-

Brush, Stephen G.

Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974

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

Chadwick, James, 1891-1974

Chandrasekhar, S. (Subrahmanyan), 1910-1995

Cockcroft, John, Sir, 1897-1967

Crick, Francis, 1916-2004

Curie, Marie, 1867-1934

Delbrück, Max

Dicke, Robert H. (Robert Henry)

Dirac, P. A. M. (Paul Adrien Maurice), 1902-1984

Evans, Robley Dunglison, 1907-

Feenberg, Eugene

Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954

Fowler, William A.

Franck, James, 1882-1964

Gentner, Wolfgang, 1906-1980

Goldhaber, Maurice, 1911-2011

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

Grosse, Aristid von, 1905-1985

Herman, Robert, 1914-

Humason, Milton L. (Milton La Salle), 1891-1972

Jeffreys, Bertha Swirles

Kapitsa, P. L. (Petr Leonidovich), 1894-1984

Klein, Oskar

Landau, L. D. (Lev Davidovich), 1908-1968

Lawrence, Ernest Orlando, 1901-1958

Libby, Stephen B.

Moore, Ruth E., 1908-1989

Mott, N. F. (Nevill Francis), Sir, 1905-1996

Nassau, Jason John, 1893-1965

Nordheim, Lothar, 1899-

Occhialini, Giuseppe, 1907-1993

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958

Penzias, Arno A.

Pound, Robert V.

Rakestraw, Norris Watson

Rosenfeld, L. (Leon), 1904-1974

Rubin, Vera C., 1928-2016

Ryabov, Mikhail I.

Salpeter, Edwin E.

Sessler, A. M. (Andrew Marienhoff)

Shane, Mary Lea Heger, 1897-1983

Stern, Marvin, 1923-

Stromgren, Bengt, 1908-1987

Taylor, Theodore B., 1925-

Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982

Ulam, Stanislaw M.

Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957

Wagoner, Robert V.

Waterman, Alan Tower, 1892-1967

Weizsacker, Carl Friedrich, Freiherr von, 1912-2007

Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008

Wilkinson, David T.

Institutions

Major Positions

George Washington University. Department of Physics

Professor.

Leningradskii gosudarstvennyi universitet

Obtained PhD in Physics (1928). Professor.

University of Colorado Boulder. Department of Physics

Professor.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Københavns universitet

Carlsberg Fellow, Theoretical Physics Institute and University Fellow, Theoretical Physics Institute.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

Odessa State University

Matriculated in the Physical-Mathematical Institute.

University of Cambridge. Department of Physics

Rockefeller Fellow.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Basic Theories of Modern Physics, 1964.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Faust, eine Historie, 1932.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Federal Bureau of Investigation files on George Gamow, Robert Serber, and John Archibald Wheeler, 1946-1973.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Francis Crick personal papers, 1938-2007.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Gamow lecture series on cosmology [sound recording] / 1968.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

George and Barbara Gamow papers, 1915-1975 (bulk 1950-1975).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

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

George Gamow correspondence, 1948-1949.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

George Gamow letters to Alex Rich, 1955-1962.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

George Gamow papers, 1934-1955.

Department of Special Collections. University Archives.

George Washington University

2130 H Street NW, Washington, DC, USA

Goettinger Nachrichten [facetiae], 1932.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Niels Bohr scientific correspondence, 1903-1962.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Oral history interview with George Gamow, 1968 April 25 and 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

A brief history of the George Washington University physics department, 1934-1994.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Alan Tower Waterman papers, 1918-1967 (bulk 1940-1963).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

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

Albert A. Bartlett papers, 1928-2002.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Andrew Sessler and Stephen Libby biographical memoir on Edward Teller, 2007.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Arno A. Penzias papers, 1931-2006 (bulk 1963-1998).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

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

Christian Møller papers, 1928-1980.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Edward Condon papers, circa 1920-1974.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

H. B. G. Casimir papers, 1929-2000.

Rijksarchief in Noord-Holland

Kleine Houtweg 18, Haarlem, Netherlands

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

Informal moments, Summer Symposia at the University of Michigan [motion picture] / taken by David Dennison ; 1933-1937.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Jason John Nassau papers, 1919-1977.

Archives

Case Western Reserve University

10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106-7229, USA

John Von Neumann papers, 1912-1996 (bulk 1935-1957).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

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

Journal of Jocular Physics, 1935-1955

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Leon Rosenfeld papers, 1911-1974.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Mikhail I. Ryabov collection on George Gamow, 1994-2005.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Milton L. Humason papers, 1948-1952.

Henry E. Huntington Library

1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108, USA

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

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Niels Bohr material collected elsewhere, 1912-1962.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Norris W. Rakestraw papers, 1921-1974.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Nuclear reminiscences [motion picture].

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Sir Nevill Francis Mott, 1971 May 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Aristid Victor Grosse, 1974 January 11 and April 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Bengt Georg Daniel Strömgren, 1976 May 6 and 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Bengt Georg Daniel Strömgren, 1978 April 24.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Bertha Swirles, Lady Jeffreys, 1997 March.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Betsy Ancker-Johnson, 2008 December 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Carl Friedrich Weizsacker, 1978 April 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with David Todd Wilkinson, 1984 September 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edoardo Amaldi, 1969 April 9 and 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edwin Ernest Salpeter, 1978 March 30.

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 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 Giuseppe Occhialini, 1971 April 5, 6, May 16, 17, and November 18.

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 Leon Rosenfeld, 1968 September 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Lothar Wolfgang Nordheim, 1962 July 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Marvin Stern, 1987 May 1.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Mary Lea Heger Shane, 1967 July 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Maurice Goldhaber, 1967 January 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Ralph Alpher and second session is joint interview with Robert Herman, 1983 August 11 and 12.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert d'Escourt Atkinson, 1977 April 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Henry Dicke, 1985 June 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Herman, 1983 April 11.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert V. Pound, 2006 September 23, November 4, 18, 2007 February 19 and April 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Wagoner, 1988 October 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robley D. Evans, 1972 May 2, 3, 1974 May 5 and 1978 June 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with S. Chandrasekhar, 1977 May 17, 18 and October 31.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Sir Nevill Francis Mott, 1963 May 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Theodore Brewster Taylor, 1989 April 12.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Vera C. Rubin, 1989 April 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William A. Fowler, 1983 May 3 - May 31, 1984.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

1201 East California Blvd. (Mail Code 015A-74), Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

Oral history interview with Wolfgang Gentner, 1971 November 15.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oskar Klein papers, 1916-1970.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

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

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Ruth Moore research materials for NIELS BOHR - THE MAN, HIS SCIENCE AND THE WORLD THEY CHANGED, [circa 1912]-1983.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Samuel A. Goudsmit papers, 1921-1979.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Scientific correspondence [microform], 1907-1962.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Selected papers [microform], 1926-1975.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Stanislaw Ulam papers, 1916-1984.

Library

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Stephen G. Brush correspondence with Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman regarding the history of the Big Bang cosmology and the discovery of the cosmic microwave background, 1991-1995.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar papers, 1928-1995.

The Joseph Regenstein Library. Department of Special Collections

University of Chicago

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, 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

A planet called earth.

A star called the sun.

Atomic energy in cosmic and human life : fifty years of radioactivity / by George Gamow.

Biography of physics.

Biography of the earth : its past, present and future.

Cinétique des réactions nucléaires / par G. Gamow.

Constitution of atomic nuclei and radioactivity / by G. Gamow.

Gravity: [classic and modern views] Illus. by the author.

Matter, earth, and sky.

Mr. Tompkins explores the atom / by G. Gamow

Mr. Tompkins in paperback, by G. Gamow. Illustrated by the author and John Hookham.

Mr. Tompkins in Wonderland, or, Stories of c, G, and h / by G. Gamow.

Mr. Tompkins inside himself; adventures in the new biology [by] George Gamow and Martynas Yčas. With illus. by George Gamow.

My World Line: An Informal Autobiography (New York: Viking, 1970)

One, two, three ... infinity : facts & speculations of science / illus. by the author.

Physics: foundations and frontiers / [by] George Gamow [and] John M. Cleveland.

Structure of atomic nuclei and nuclear transformations / by G. Gamow ; being a second edition of Constitution of atomic nuclei and radioactivity.

The atom and its nucleus.

The birth and death of the sun : stellar evolution and sub-atomic energy / [by] George Gamow, illustrated by the author.

The creation of the universe.

Theory of atomic nucleus and nuclear energy sources / by G. Gamow and C.L. Critchfield.

Thirty years that shook physics : the story of quantum theory

Subject

"Gamow's Game: The Road to the Hot Big Bang," Centaurus 38 (1996): 335-361

"Gamow's Theory of Alpha Decay," in Kaleidoscope of Science: The Israel Colloquium, Vol. 1, ed. Edna Ullmann-Margalit (Dordrecht : Reidel: 1986), 147-186

"George Gamow and the 'Factual Approach' to Relativistic Cosmology," in The Universe of General Relativity, ed. A. Kox and J. Eisenstaedt (Berlin: Springer Verlag: 2006), 175-188

"George Gamow: 1904-1968", Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

"George Gamow: Scientific Amateur and Polymath," Perspectives in Physics 3 (2001): 335-372

"The Changing Place of Red Giant Stars in the Evolutionary Process," Journal for the History of Astronomy 37 (2006): 429-469

Cosmology and Controversy: The Historical Development of Two Theories of the Universe (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996)

Ordinary geniuses : Max Delbrück, George Gamow, and the origins of genomics and big bang cosmology / Gino Segrè.

Portraits of discovery : profiles in scientific genius / George Greenstein.

The George Gamow symposium : sponsored by the George Washington University and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, 12 April 1996 / edited by E. Harper, W.C. Parke, and G.D. Anderson.