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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as Subject

Llewellyn Hilleth Thomas

Photo

Dates

October 21, 1903 – April 20, 1992

Authorized Form of Name

Thomas, Llewellyn Hilleth, 1903-1992

Additional Forms of Names

Thomas, Llewellyn

Biography

Abstract

Llewellyn Thomas was Emeritus Professor of Physics at North Carolina State University (1976-1992). Other institutional affiliations included Columbia University, International Business Machines (IBM), and Ohio State University. Thomas made two major discoveries with the "Thomas factor of 1/2," which reconciled the magnitude of the atomic-fine structure with the anomalous Zeeman effect, and the creation of a statistical model of the atom, known as the Thomas-Fermi Model. He contributed to accelerator physics with the invention of the isochronous, or radial-sector, cyclotron. Additionally, while working at IBM's Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory, he worked on the development of numerical methods and on the design principles and hardware for electronic computers.

Important Dates

October 21, 1903Birth, London (England).

1924Obtained BA, Cambridge University, Cambridge (England).

1927Obtained PhD in Theoretical Physics, Cambridge University, Cambridge (England).

1929 – 1943Assistant Professor to Professor of Physics, Ohio State University, Columbus (Ohio).

1943 – 1945Physicist and Ballistician, Ballistic Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, United States Army.

1945 – 1946Professor of Physics, Ohio State University, Columbus (Ohio).

1946 – 1968Member, Senior Staff, Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory, International Business Machines (IBM), New York (N.Y.).

1946 – 1992Professor of Physics (1946-1968) and Emeritus Professor of Physics (1968-1992), Columbia University, New York (N.Y.).

1958Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1968 – 1992Professor of Physics (1968-1976) and Emeritus Professor of Physics (1976-1992), North Carolina State University, Raleigh (N.C.).

1982Awarded Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics, American Physical Society.

April 20, 1992Death, Raleigh (N.C.).

Occupation

Theoretical physicist and applied mathematician.

Places

Birth

London (England)

Undergraduate Education

Cambridge (England)

Graduate Education

Cambridge (England)

Employment

Columbus (Ohio)

New York (N.Y.)

Raleigh (N.C.)

Death

Raleigh (N.C.)

Subjects

Accelerators.

Applied mathematics.

Atomic and molecular physics.

Computers.

Cyclotrons.

Theoretical physics.

Relationships

People

Family

DeAngelis, Margaret Olwen Thomas

Daughter.

Frech, Naomi Estelle

Wife. Married 1933.

Thomas, Charles Frederick

Son.

Thomas, Charles James

Father.

Thomas, James Rhys

Son.

Thomas, Winifred May Lewis

Mother.

Viele, Ann Rhonwen May Thomas

Daughter.

Advisors & Collaborators

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Research advisor at University of Copenhagen (Københavns Universitet).

Fowler, R. H. (Ralph Howard), 1889-1994

PhD advisor at Cambridge University.

Shaffer, Wave Henry

Advised by Thomas at Ohio State University.

Colleagues

Anderson, A. G. (Arthur George), 1926-

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Armstrong, J. A. (John A.)

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Boehm, Felix

Both employed at Columbia University.

Booth, Eugene

Both employed at Columbia University.

Brewer, Richard G.

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969

Both employed at Columbia University and Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Brown, Harold, 1927-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Chang, Leroy L.

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Commins, Eugene D.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Cummins, Herman Z., 1933-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Davis, Bergen, 1869-1958

Both employed at Columbia University.

Devons, Samuel

Both employed at Columbia University.

Dunning, John R. (John Ray), 1907-1975

Both employed at Columbia University.

Esaki, Reona, 1925-

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Fang, Frank F.

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Feinberg, Gerald, 1933-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Foley, Henry Michael, 1917-1982

Both employed at Columbia University.

Garwin, Richard L.

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Goldhaber, Gerson

Both employed at Columbia University.

Gutzwiller, M. C. (Martin C.)

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Hahn, E. L. (Erwin Louis), 1921-

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Happer, William, 1939-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Henley, Ernest M.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Hughes, Vernon W.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Javan, Ali, 1926-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Kinoshita, T. (Toichiro)

Both employed at Columbia University.

Kroll, Norman Myles, 1922-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Kusch, Polykarp, 1911-1993

Both employed at Columbia University.

Lamb, Willis E. (Willis Eugene), 1913-2008

Both employed at Columbia University.

Landauer, Rolf William, 1927-1999

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Lederman, Leon M.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Lee, T. D., 1926-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Lieb, Elliott H.

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Low, Francis E. (Francis Eugene), 1921-2007

Both employed at Columbia University.

Luttinger, Joaquin M.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Mandelbrot, Benoît B.

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Mandelstam, Stanley

Both employed at Columbia University.

Nierenberg, William Aaron, 1919-2000

Both employed at Columbia University.

Novick, Robert

Both employed at Columbia University.

Pegram, George Braxton, 1876-1958

Both employed at Columbia University.

Pekeris, C. L. (Chaim Leib), 1908-1993

Both employed at Columbia University.

Peoples, John, Jr.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Press, Frank, 1924-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Rabi, I. I. (Isidor Isaac), 1898-1988

Both employed at Columbia University.

Rainwater, L. James (Leo James), 1917-1986

Both employed at Columbia University.

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Both employed at Columbia University.

Ruderman, Malvin A.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Sachs, Allan M. (Allan Maxwell), 1921-1989

Both employed at Columbia University.

Samios, Nicholas P.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Schawlow, Arthur L., 1921-1999

Both employed at Columbia University.

Schwartz, Melvin, 1932-2006

Both employed at Columbia University.

Serber, R. (Robert)

Both employed at Columbia University.

Sorokin, Peter P.

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Steinberger, J.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Stiles, Phillip J.

Both employed at Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center.

Ting, S. C. C. (Samuel Chao-chung), 1936-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Townes, Charles H.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Weinberg, Steven, 1933-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Wick, G. C. (Gian Carlo)

Both employed at Columbia University.

Wu, C. S. (Chien-shiung), 1912-1997

Both employed at Columbia University.

Additional

Dennison, David M. (David Mathias), 1900-1976

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

Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954

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

Inglis, David Rittenhouse, 1905-1995

Klein, Oskar

Landé, Alfred, 1888-

Löwdin, Per-Olov, 1916-2000

Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958

Risley, John S.

Uhlenbeck, George Eugène, 1900-1988

Institutions

Major Positions

Aberdeen Proving Ground (Md.)

Physicist and Ballistician, Ballistic Research Laboratory, United States Army.

Columbia University. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics and Emeritus Professor of Physics.

North Carolina State University. Department of Physics

Professor of Physics and Emeritus Professor of Physics.

Ohio State University. Department of Physics

Assistant Professor to Professor of Physics.

Thomas J. Watson IBM Research Center

Member, Senior Staff, Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory.

United States. Army

Physicist and Ballistician, Ballistic Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Physical Society

Received 1982 Davisson-Germer Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

University of Cambridge. Department of Physics

Obtained BA (1924) and PhD in Theoretical Physics (1927).

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Distinguished speakers session [sound recording] 1982 April 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

History of physics contributed papers [sound recording], 2010 February 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Llewellyn Hilleth Thomas papers, 1925-1983.

Special Collections Research Center, NCSU Libraries

North Carolina State University

Box 7111, Raleigh, NC 27695-7111, USA

Manuscript on the equation of motion of a spinning electron, 1926.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Llewellyn Hilleth Thomas, 1962 May 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Student notes [microform], 1922-1925.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

John S. Risley papers, 1961-2002.

Special Collections Research Center, NCSU Libraries

North Carolina State University

Box 7111, Raleigh, NC 27695-7111, USA

Oral history interview with Alfred Landé, 1973 October 3.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with David Rittenhouse Inglis, 1977 May 9 and 10.

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 Oskar Benjamin Klein, 1962 September 25 to 16 July 1963.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Per Olov Löwdin, 1975 January 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Serber, 1967 February 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Subject

"Llewellyn Hilleth Thomas: 1903-1992", Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

Llewellyn H. Thomas Physics Today obituary.