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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

James Rainwater

Photo

Dates

December 9, 1917 – May 31, 1986

Authorized Form of Name

Rainwater, James, 1917-1986

Additional Forms of Names

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

Biography

Abstract

James Rainwater was Professor of Physics at Columbia University (1952-1986). His research interests included neutron spectroscopy, mesic atoms, and cyclotrons. In 1975, Rainwater shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with Aage N. Bohr and Ben R. Mottelson "for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection."

Important Dates

December 9, 1917Birth, Council (Idaho).

1939Obtained BS in Physics, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (Calif.).

1941Obtained MA, Columbia University, New York (N.Y.).

1941 – 1946Researcher, Manhattan Project, Columbia University, New York (N.Y.).

1946Obtained PhD in Physics, Columbia University, New York (N.Y.).

1946 – 1986Instructor to Associate Professor of Physics (1946-1952); Director, Nevis Laboratories (1951-1954); Professor of Physics (1952-1986); Director, Nevis Laboratories (1957-1961); and Emeritus Professor of Physics (1986), Columbia University, New York (N.Y.).

1957 – 1960Member, Advisory Committee, National Science Foundation.

1961 – 1965Member, Advisory Panel, Physics and Electronuclear Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

1968Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1969 – 1971Member, Physics Review Panel, Argonne National Laboratory.

1975Awarded Nobel Prize in Physics with Aage N. Bohr and Ben R. Mottelson "for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection".

May 31, 1986Death.

Occupation

Nuclear physicist.

Places

Birth

Council (Idaho)

Undergraduate Education

Pasadena (Calif.)

Graduate Education

New York (N.Y.)

Employment

New York (N.Y.)

Subjects

Accelerators.

Cyclotrons.

Mesons.

Neutrons.

Nuclear physics.

Relationships

People

Family

Smith, Emma Louise

Wife. Married in 1942.

Advisors & Collaborators

Bohr, Aage

Shared 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics along with Ben Mottelson "for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection."

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

PhD advisor at Columbia University, "Neutron Beam Spectrometer Studies of Boron, Cadmium, and Energy Distribution from Paraffin," and both employed at Columbia University.

Fitch, Val L., 1923-2015

Advised by Rainwater at Columbia University, "Studies of X-rays from mu-mesonic atoms."

Mottelson, Ben R.

Shared 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics along with Aage Bohr "for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection."

Colleagues

Boehm, Felix

Both employed at Columbia University.

Booth, Eugene

Both employed at Columbia University.

Brillouin, Léon, 1889-1969

Both employed at Columbia University.

Brown, Harold, 1927-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Christ, Norman

Both employed at Columbia University.

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.

Feinberg, Gerald, 1933-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Foley, Henry Michael, 1917-1982

Both employed at Columbia University.

Goldhaber, Gerson

Both employed at Columbia University.

Guth, Alan H.

Both employed at Columbia University.

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.

Kahn, Steven Michael

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.

Lederman, Leon M.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Lee, T. D., 1926-

Both employed at Columbia University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

Luttinger, Joaquin M.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Mandelstam, Stanley

Both employed at Columbia University.

Nierenberg, William Aaron, 1919-2000

Both employed at Columbia University.

Novick, Robert

Both employed at Columbia University.

Nygren, David R.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Pegram, George Braxton, 1876-1958

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.

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.

Sciulli, Frank J.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Serber, R. (Robert)

Both employed at Columbia University.

Steinberger, J.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Thomas, Llewellyn Hilleth, 1903-1992

Both employed at Columbia University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

Townes, Charles H.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Weinberg, Erick J.

Both employed at Columbia University.

Weinberg, Steven, 1933-

Both employed at Columbia University.

Wick, G. C. (Gian Carlo)

Both employed at Columbia University.

Wilson, Robert R., 1914-2000

Both employed at Columbia University.

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

Both employed at Columbia University.

Additional

Alvarez, Luis W., 1911-1988

Havens, William W. (William Westerfield), 1920-2004

Oliver, J. E. (Jack Ertle), 1923-2011

Reich, Haskell Aaron, 1926-1983

Institutions

Major Positions

Columbia University. Department of Physics

Obtained MA (1941) and PhD (1946). Researcher, Manhattan Project; Instructor to Associate Professor of Physics; Professor of Physics; and Emeritus Professor of Physics.

Manhattan Project (U.S.)

Researcher, Columbia University.

Nevis Laboratories

Director.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Argonne National Laboratory

Member, Physics Review Panel.

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

Obtained BS (1939).

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

National Science Foundation (U.S.)

Member, Advisory Committee.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Member, Advisory Panel, Physics and Electronuclear Division.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Distinguished Speaker Session [sound recording] 1976 April 28.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

L. James Rainwater notes on the structure of the atomic nucleus, 1975.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Haskell A. Reich collection of student notes, circa 1945-1954.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Jack E. Oliver, 1996 March 8 and 1997 September 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Luis Alvarez, 1967 February 14 and 15.

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

Oral history interview with Val L. Fitch, 1986 December 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William W. Havens, 1991 February 21, July 17, 29, Augut 5, 12 and 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

James Rainwater Nobel Prize autobiography.

Subject

"James Rainwater: 1917-1986", Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

James Rainwater Physics Today obituary.