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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Richard C. Tolman

Photo

Dates

March 4, 1881 – September 5, 1948

Authorized Form of Name

Tolman, Richard C. (Richard Chace), 1881-1948

Additional Forms of Names

Tolman, R. C. (Richard Chace), 1881-1948

Tolman, Richard Chace, 1881-1948

Biography

Abstract

Richard Tolman was Professor of Physical Chemistry and Mathematical Physics at California Institute of Technology (1922-1948). Other institutional affiliations included University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, University of California, Berkeley, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research interests included statistical mechanics and thermodynamics.

Important Dates

March 4, 1881Birth, West Newton (Mass.).

1903Obtained BS in Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge (Mass.).

1903 – 1904Studied at Technical Institute of Berlin.

1904 – 1910Assistant Technical Analyst (1904-1905); Instructor in Theoretical Chemistry (1907-1909); and Research Associate in Physical Chemistry (1909-1910), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge (Mass.).

1910Obtained PhD in Physical Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge (Mass.).

1910 – 1911Instructor in Physical Chemistry, University of Michigan.

1911 – 1912Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Cincinnati.

1912 – 1916Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley.

1916 – 1918Professor of Physical Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

1918Chief, Dispersoid Section, Chemical Warfare Service, United States, Army.

1919 – 1921Associate Director (1919-1920) and Director (1920-1921), Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory, United States Department of War.

1921 – 1922Director, Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture.

1922 – 1948Professor of Physical Chemistry and Mathematical Physics (1922-1948) and Dean, Graduate School (1935-1946), California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (Calif.).

1923Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1940 – 1946Vice Chair, National Defense Research Committe (1940-1946) and Chair, Armor and Ordnance Division, National Defense Research Committee (1941-1942), Office of Scientific Research and Development.

1942 – 1946Chief Technical Advisor to General Leslie Groves, Manhattan Project.

September 5, 1948Death, Pasadena (Calif.).

Occupation

Physical chemist.

Places

Birth

West Newton (Mass.)

Undergraduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Graduate Education

Cambridge (Mass.)

Employment

Cambridge (Mass.)

Pasadena (Calif.)

Death

Pasadena (Calif.)

Subjects

Physical chemistry.

Statistical mechanics.

Thermodynamics.

Relationships

People

Family

Tolman, Ruth Sherman

Wife. Married in 1924.

Advisors & Collaborators

Mitchell, Allan C. G. (Allan Charles Gray), 1902-

Advised by Tolman at California Institute of Technology, "Investigation of reactions sensitized by optically excited mercury vapor. The specific heat and entropy of hydrogen chloride derived from infra-red spectra."

Noyes, Arthur A. (Arthur Amos), 1866-1936

PhD advisor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), "The Electromotive Force Produced in Solutions by Centrifugal Action."

Colleagues

Anderson, Carl D. (Carl David), 1905-1991

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Bacher, Robert F. (Robert Fox), 1905-2004

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Bateman, Harry, 1882-1946

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Bitter, Francis, 1902-1967

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Bonner, Tom Wilkerson, 1910-1961

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Christy, Robert F.

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Cole, Julian D.

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Coolidge, William David, 1873-1975

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Crane, H. R. (Horace Richard), 1907-2007

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Delbrück, Max

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

DuBridge, Lee A. (Lee Alvin), 1901-1994

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

DuMond, Jesse W. M. (Jesse William Monroe), 1892-1976

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Duwez, Pol

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Eckart, Carl, 1902-1973

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Epstein, Paul S. (Paul Sophus), 1883-1966

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Fowler, William A.

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

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

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Gordy, Walter, 1909-1985

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Houston, W. V. (William Vermillion), 1900-

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Keyes, Frederick G. (Frederick George), 1885-1976

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kirkwood, John Gamble, 1907-1959

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Lauritsen, Charles Christian, 1892-1968

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Lauritsen, Thomas, 1915-1973

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Leighton, Robert B.

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Lin, C. C. (Chia-Chʻiao), 1916-2013

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Neddermeyer, Seth H. (Seth Henry), 1907-1988

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Rice, Oscar Knefler, 1903-1978

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Robertson, H. P. (Howard Percy), 1903-1961

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Schiff, Leonard I. (Leonard Isaac), 1915-1971

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Slichter, Louis B. (Louis Byrne), 1896-1978

Both employed at California Institute of Technology.

Additional

Bondi, Hermann

Bowen, Ira Sprague, 1898-1973

Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955

Greenstein, Jesse L. (Jesse Leonard), 1909-2002

Huff, L. D. (Lorenz Ditmar), 1905-

Meggers, William F. (William Frederick), 1888-1966

Morrison, Philip

Oppenheimer, Frank, 1912-1985

Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994

Placzek, G. (George), 1905-1955

Plesset, Milton S. (Milton Spinoza)

Richter, Charles, 1900-1985

Sandage, Allan

Schwarzschild, Martin

Serber, R. (Robert)

Stewart, Homer J.

Wooldridge, Dean E.

Institutions

Major Positions

California Institute of Technology

Dean, Graduate School.

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

Professor of Physical Chemistry and Mathematical Physics.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemistry

Obtained PhD (1910). Assistant Technical Analyst; Instructor in Theoretical Chemistry; and Research Associate in Physical Chemistry.

United States. Department of Agriculture

Director, Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory.

United States. War Department

Associate Director and Director, Fixed Nitrogen Research Laboratory.

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Chemistry

Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry.

University of Cincinnati. Department of Chemistry

Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Department of Chemistry

Professor of Physical Chemistry.

University of Michigan. Department of Chemistry

Instructor in Physical Chemistry.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Manhattan Project (U.S.)

Chief Technical Advisor to General Leslie Groves.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Chemical Engineering

Obtained BS (1903).

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

Technische Hochschule Berlin

Student from 1903-1904.

United States. Army

Chief, Dispersoid Section, Chemical Warfare Service.

United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development. National Defense Research Committee

Vice Chair; and Chair, Armor and Ordnance Division.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Richard C. Tolman papers, 1735-1958.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Subject

Albert Einstein speeches [sound recording], 1932-1933.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

George Placzek papers, 1934-1955, undated.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Lorenz D. Huff papers, 1928-1948.

Libraries. Special Collections

Clemson University

Senator Strom Thurmond Institute Building, Clemson, SC 29634-3001, USA

Lorenz D. Huff student lecture notes, 1928-1931.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Office of Scientific Research and Development [OSRD], 1939-1950 (bulk 1939-1947).

Office of the National Archives

National Archives and Records Administration

8th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408, USA

Oral history interview with Allan Sandage, 1974 May 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Allan Sandage, 1977 February 8.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Charles F. Richter, 1978 February 15-September 1.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Oral history interview with Dean E. Wooldridge, 1976 August 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Frank Oppenheimer, 1984 November 16.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Oral history interview with H. R. Crane, 1973 March 28 and 1974 June 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Hermann Bondi, 1978 March 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Homer J. Stewart, 1982 October to November and 1993 November 3.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Oral history interview with Ira Bowen, 1968 August 9 and 1969 August 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1963 November 18 and 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Jesse Leonard Greenstein, 1974 July 31.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Linus Carl Pauling, 1964 March 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Linus Pauling, 1984 May 10.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Oral history interview with Martin Schwarzchild, 1977 September 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Milton Plesset, 1981 December 8.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Oral history interview with Philip Morrison, 2002 December 19 and 20.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral History interview with Robert F. Bacher, 1986 February 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Seth H. Neddermeyer, 1984 May 7.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Oral history interview with William Alfred Fowler, 1972 June 8, 9, 1973 February 5, 6, and 1974 May 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

William F. Meggers home movies [motion picture], 1927-1957.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

Relativity, thermodynamics and cosmology / by Richard C. Tolman …

Statistical mechanics with applications to physics and chemistry / by Richard C. Tolman …

The principles of statistical mechanics / by Richard C. Tolman …

The theory of the relativity of motion / by Richard C. Tolman.

Subject

"Richard Chance Tolman: 1881-1948", Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

Richard C. Tolman Physics Today Obituary