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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Walter Kohn

Photo

Dates

March 9, 1923 – April 19, 2016

Authorized Form of Name

Kohn, Walter, 1923-

Additional Forms of Names

Kohn, W. (Walter), 1923-

Biography

Abstract

Walter Kohn was Professor of Physics Emeritus and Research Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara (1991-present). Other institutional affiliations included University of California, San Diego and Carnegie Institute of Technology. His research interests included density functional theory and scattering theory.

Important Dates

March 9, 1923Birth, Vienna (Austria).

1941 – 1943Industrial Physicist, Sutton Horsley Company.

1944 – 1945Member, Canadian Infantry Corps.

1944 – 1946Geophysicist, Koulomzine.

1945Obtained BA, University of Toronto, Toronto (Ont.).

1946Obtained MA, University of Toronto, Toronto (Ont.).

1948Obtained PhD in Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1948 – 1950Instructor of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge (Mass.).

1950 – 1960Assistant Professor to Professor of Physics, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburgh (Pa.).

1953 – 1957Consultant, Westinghouse Electric Corporation.

1953 – 1966Consultant, Bell Telephone Laboratories.

1960 – 1972Consultant, General Atomics.

1960 – 1979Professor of Physics (1960-1979) and Chair, Department of Physics (1961-1963), University of California, San Diego, San Diego (Calif.).

1961Awarded Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize, American Physical Society.

1963Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

1969Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1977Awarded Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics, American Physical Society.

1978Consultant, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

1979 – 2016Director, Institute of Theoretical Physics (1979-1984); Professor of Physics (1984-1991); and Professor of Physics Emeritus and Research Professor (1991-present), University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara (Calif.).

1986 – 1996Member, Board of Governors, Tel Aviv University.

1988Awarded National Medal of Science.

1996 – 2016Member, Board of Governors, Weizmann Institute (Mekhon Ṿaitsman le-madaʻ).

1998Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his development of the density-functional theory".

April 19, 2016Death, Santa Barbara (Calif.).

Occupation

Theoretical physicist.

Places

Birth

Vienna (Austria)

Undergraduate Education

Toronto (Ont.)

Graduate Education

Toronto (Ont.)

Cambridge (Mass.)

Employment

Pittsburgh (Pa.)

San Diego (Calif.)

Santa Barbara (Calif.)

Death

Santa Barbara (Calif.)

Subjects

Chemistry. Physical and theoretical.

Density functionals.

Scattering (Physics).

Semiconductors.

Theoretical physics.

Relationships

People

Family

Kohn, Gittel

Mother.

Kohn, Lois

First wife. Divorced.

Kohn, Mara Vishniac

Second wife.

Kohn, Minna

Sister.

Kohn, Salomon

Father.

Advisors & Collaborators

Ambegaokar, Vinay

Advised by Kohn at Carnegie Institute of Technology, "Electromagnetic properties of insulators from a many particle point of view."

Burke, Kieron J.

Advised by Kohn at University of California, Santa Barbara, "Atom scattering from solid surfaces."

Geller, Michael R.

Advised by Kohn at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Gross, E. K. U. (Eberhard K. U.), 1953-

Advised by Kohn at University of California, Santa Barbara in physics.

Jensen, Jens H.

Advised by Kohn at University of California, Santa Barbara in physics.

Mermin, N. David

Advised by Kohn at University of California, San Diego and both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Rudnick, Joseph Alan, 1944-

Advised by Kohn at University of California, San Diego, "Surface response properties of a bounded electron gas."

Schwinger, Julian, 1918-1994

PhD advisor at Harvard University, "Collisions of Light Nuclei"; and both employed at Harvard University.

Colleagues

Ahlers, G. (Günter)

Both employed at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Alfvén, Hannes

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Awschalom, D. (David)

Both employed at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Bainbridge, Kenneth T. (Kenneth Tompkins), 1904-1996

Both employed at Harvard University.

Bialek, William S.

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Bloembergen, N.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Booker, Henry G.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Branscomb, Lewis M., 1926-

Both employed at Harvard University.

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

Both employed at Harvard University.

Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969

Both employed at Harvard University.

Brueckner, Keith A.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Conant, James Bryant, 1893-1978

Both employed at Harvard University.

Coppi, B.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Creutz, E.

Both employed at Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Elsasser, Walter M., 1904-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Feher, George, 1924-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Fisk, Zachary

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Furry, W. H. (Wendell Hinkle), 1907-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Goldenfeld, Nigel

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Gross, David J. (David Jonathan)

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Institute for Theoretical Physics.

Hartle, J. B. (James B.)

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Heeger, Alan J.

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Horowitz, Gary T., 1955-

Both employed at University of California, Santa Barbara.

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

Both employed at Harvard University.

Kivelson, Steven

Both employed at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Kroll, Norman Myles, 1922-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Lang, Norton D.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Langer, James S.

Both employed at Carnegie Institute of Technology and University of California, Santa Barbara.

Levine, D.

Both employed at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Lyman, Theodore, 1874-1954

Both employed at Harvard University.

Malmberg, J. H.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Maple, M. Brian, 1939-

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.

Oldenberg, Otto, 1888-

Both employed at Harvard University.

O'Neil, T. M. (Thomas Michael), 1940-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Peale, Stanton Jerrold

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Pierce, George Washington, 1872-1956

Both employed at Harvard University.

Polchinski, Joseph Gerard

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Pound, Robert V.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Purcell, Edward M.

Both employed at Harvard University.

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Both employed at Harvard University.

Rice, Thomas Maurice, 1939-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Rosenbluth, M. N.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Rostoker, Norman

Both employed at Carnegie Institute of Technology and University of California, San Diego.

Scalapino, Douglas J.

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Schrieffer, J. R. (John Robert), 1931-

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Sham, L. J.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Stern, Otto, 1888-1969

Both employed at Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Street, Jabez Curry, 1906-

Both employed at Harvard University.

Strominger, Andrew Eben

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Stubbs, Christopher

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Suhl, Harry

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

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

Both employed at Harvard University.

Webb, R. A. (Richard Alan)

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Weeks, John David

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Wheatley, John Charles

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Wick, G. C. (Gian Carlo)

Both employed at Carnegie Institute of Technology.

Wilczek, Frank

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Witherell, Michael S., 1949-

Both employed at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Wolfenstein, L. (Lincoln)

Both employed at Carnegie Institute of Technology.

York, Herbert F. (Herbert Frank)

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Additional

Ashcroft, Neil W.

Pople, John A., 1925-2004

Both awarded 1998 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for separate projects.

Institutions

Major Positions

Carnegie Institute of Technology. Department of Physics

Assistant Professor to Professor of Physics.

GA (Series) (San Diego, Calif.)

Consultant.

Harvard University. Department of Physics

Obtained PhD in Physics (1948). Instructor of Physics.

Koulomzine

Geophysicist.

Sutton Horsley Company

Industrial Physicist.

University of California, San Diego. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics and Chair, Department of Physics.

University of California, Santa Barbara. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics and Professor of Physics Emeritus and Research Professor.

University of California, Santa Barbara. Institute for Theoretical Physics

Director.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Fellow.

American Physical Society

Received 1961 Oliver E. Buckley Condensed Matter Prize and 1977 Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics.

Bell Telephone Laboratories

Consultant.

IBM Research

Consultant.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

Universiṭat Tel-Aviv

Member, Board of Governors.

University of Toronto

Obtained MA in Applied Mathematics (1946).

University of Toronto. Department of Physics

Obtained BA (1945).

Weizmann Institute of Science

Member, Board of Governors.

Westinghouse Electric Corporation

Consultant.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Distinguished speaker session [sound recording] / 1977 April 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

History of electronic structure theory in atoms [sound recording], session S3, American Physical Society annual meeting, March 14, 2001, Seattle, Wash.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Walter Kohn papers.

Library. Dept. of Special Collections

University of California, Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA

Subject

Nobel Voices Videohistory Project collection, 2000-2001.

Archives Center

Smithsonian Institution. National Museum of American History

MRC 601, 12th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

Robert G. Parr addition to papers, 1935-2001 (bulk 1950-1995).

The Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of Chemical History.

Chemical Heritage Foundation

315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106-2702, USA

Published Resources

Author

Nobel Prize Autobiography.

Walter Kohn: Personal Stories and Anecdotes Told by Friends and Collaborators (New York: Springer, 2003)

Subject

Walter Kohn biography.

Walter Kohn Physics Today obituary.

Walter Kohn's University of California, Santa Barbara website.