Menu ☰

Back to Top

Physics History Network

Over 1000 biographies of physicists and histories of institutions with information pertaining to their lives, careers, and research.

Tip: Search within this page by using Ctrl + F or ⌘ + F


Search Our Catalogs

Archives Books

Collections

Emilio Segré Visual Archives Digital Collections Oral Histories Archival Finding Aids Physics History Network Member Society Portals

Preservation and Support

Donating Materials Suggest a Book Purchase Saving Archival Collections Grants to Archives Documentation Projects History Newsletters

Center for History of Physics

Scholarship & Outreach

Main Navigation

HomeAboutTopic GuidesFeedback

Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Joseph Edward Mayer

Photo

Dates

February 5, 1904 – October 15, 1983

Authorized Form of Name

Mayer, Joseph Edward, 1904-

Biography

Abstract

Joseph Mayer was Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at University of California, San Diego (1972-1983). Other institutional affiliations include University of Chicago, Columbia University, and Johns Hopkins University. His research included the thermodynamics of ionic crystals and the statistical mechanical theory of imperfect gases and solurions.

Important Dates

February 5, 1904Birth, New York (N.Y.).

1924Obtained BS, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (Calif.).

1927Obtained PhD in Physical Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley (Calif.).

1927 – 1928Assistant, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley (Calif.).

1929 – 1930International Fellow, University of Göttingen.

1930 – 1939Associate in Chemistry (1930-1937) and Associate Professor (1937-1939), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (Md.).

1939 – 1945Associate Professor, Columbia University, New York (N.Y.).

1942 – 1960Consultant and Member, Advisory Committee, Ballistics Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, United States Army.

1945 – 1960Professor (1945-1956) and Eisendrath Professor (1956-1960), University of Chicago, Chicago (Ill.).

1946Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1946 – 1949Consultant, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

1951 – 1956Chair, Division of Physical Chemistry, National Research Council.

1952 – 1956President, Commission on Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics, International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

1960 – 1983Professor of Chemistry (1960-1972); Chair, Department of Chemistry (1963-1966); and Emeritus Professor of Chemistry (1972-1983), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.).

1971 – 1983Member, Advisory Committee, Ballistics Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, United States Army.

1973 – 1974President, American Physical Society.

October 15, 1983Death.

Occupation

Physical chemist.

Places

Birth

New York (N.Y.)

Undergraduate Education

Pasadena (Calif.)

Graduate Education

Berkeley (Calif.)

Employment

Baltimore (Md.)

New York (N.Y.)

Chicago (Ill.)

La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.)

Subjects

Chemistry.

Ionic crystals.

Physical chemistry.

Statistical mechanics.

Relationships

People

Family

Griffen, Margaret Gannon

Second Wife.

Mayer, Maria Goeppert, 1906-1972

First wife. Married 1930.

Mayer, Peter Conrad

Son.

Proescher, Catherine

Mother.

Wentzel, Maria Ann Mayer

Daughter.

Advisors & Collaborators

Doty, Paul M., 1920-2011

Advised by Mayer at Columbia University, "The electron affinity of bromine and a study of its decomposition on hot tungsten."

Franck, James, 1882-1964

Post-doc advisor at University of Göttingen, both employed at Johns Hopkins University and University of Chicago.

Helmholtz, Lindsay

Advised by Mayer at Johns Hopkins University.

Lewis, Gilbert Newton, 1875-1946

PhD advisor at University of California, Berkeley, "The influence of radiation on thermal unimolecular reactions."

Montroll, E. W.

Advised by Mayer at Columbia University.

Poirier, Jacques C.

Advised by Mayer at University of Chicago, "Thermodynamic functions from Mayer's theory of ionic solutions. I. Equations for thermodynamic functions. II. The stoichiometric mean ionic molar activity coefficient."

Roberts, Louis Douglas

Advised by Mayer at Columbia University, "Evidence for anomalous first order transition in the system triethyl amine-water."

Zimm, Bruno Hasbrouck, 1920-2005

Advised by Mayer at Columbia University.

Colleagues

Brueckner, Keith A.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Chandler, David, 1944-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Giauque, William F. (William Francis), 1895-1982

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Koshiba, Masatoshi, 1926-

Both employed at University of Chicago.

Mulliken, Robert Sanderson

Both employed at University of Chicago.

Pegram, George Braxton, 1876-1958

Both employed at Columbia University.

Rice, Oscar Knefler, 1903-1978

Both employed at University of California, Berkeley.

Turkevich, Anthony, 1916-2002

Both employed at University of Chicago.

Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981

Both employed at Columbia University and University of California, San Diego.

York, Herbert F. (Herbert Frank)

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Zener, Clarence, 1905-

Both employed at University of Chicago.

Additional

Born, Max, 1882-1970

Jensen, J. Hans D.

Phillips, Melba, 1907-2004

Roe, Anne, 1904-1991

Szilard, Leo

Weyl, Hermann, 1885-1955

Institutions

Major Positions

Columbia University. Department of Chemistry

Associate Professor of Chemistry.

Johns Hopkins University. Department of Chemistry

Associate in Chemistry and Associate Professor of Chemistry.

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Chemistry

Obtained PhD in Physical Chemistry (1927). Assistant.

University of California, San Diego. Department of Chemistry

Professor of Chemistry; Emeritus Professor of Chemistry; and Department Chair.

University of Chicago. Department of Chemistry

Professor of Chemistry and Eisendrath Professor of Chemistry.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Physical Society

President.

California Institute of Technology. Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Obtained BS (1924).

International Union of Pure and Applied Physics

President, Commission on Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics.

Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory

Consultant.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

National Research Council (U.S.)

Chair, Division of Physical Chemistry.

United States. Army

Consultant and Member, Advisory Committee, Ballistics Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Universität Göttingen

International Fellow.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Joint ceremonial session of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers [sound recording] / 1974 February 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Joseph Edward Mayer papers, 1920-1983.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Oral history interview with Joseph Edward Mayer, 1975 January 24.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Anne Roe papers, 1949-1971 (bulk).

Library.

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Journal of Chemical Physics records, 1938-1957.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with E. W. Montroll, 1983 September 26.

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

Published Resources

Author

Statistical mechanics / [by] Joseph Edward Mayer ... and Maria Goeppert Mayer …

Subject

"Joseph Edward Mayer: 1904-1983", Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences.

Joseph E. Mayer Physics Today obituary.