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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

Harold Clayton Urey

Photo

Dates

April 29, 1893 – January 5, 1981

Authorized Form of Name

Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981

Additional Forms of Names

Urey, H. C. (Harold Clayton), 1893-1981

Urey, Harold C. (Harold Clayton), 1893-1981

Biography

Abstract

Harold Urey was Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at University of California, San Diego (1970-1981). Other institutional affiliations included University of Chicago, Columbia University, and Johns Hopkins University. His research interests included entropy of gases, atomic structure, absorption spectra and structure of molecules, discovery of deuterium, properties and separation of isotopes, exchange reactions, measurement of paleotemperature, and chemical problems of the origin of the earth, meteorites, moon and solar system.

Important Dates

April 29, 1893Birth, Walkerton (Ind.).

1917Obtained BS in Zoology, University of Montana, Missoula (Mont.).

1918 – 1919Research Chemist, Barrett Chemical Company.

1919 – 1921Instructor in Chemistry, University of Montana.

1923Obtained PhD in Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley (Calif.).

1923 – 1924American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellow, University of Copenhagen.

1924 – 1929Associate in Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore (Md.).

1929 – 1945Associate Professor of Chemistry (1929-1934); Professor of Chemistry (1934-1945); and Executive Officer, Department of Chemistry (1939-1942), Columbia University, New York (N.Y.).

1933 – 1940Editor, Journal of Chemical Physics.

1934Awarded Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his discovery of heavy hydrogen".

1935Member, National Academy of Sciences.

1940 – 1941Member, Committee on Uranium, National Defense Research Committee.

1941 – 1942Member, Section on Uranium, Office of Scientific Research and Development.

1942 – 1945Member, Executive Committee (1942-1945) and Program Chief (1942), Section S-1, Office of Scientific Research and Development.

1942 – 1945Project Leader, Columbia SAM Laboratories, Manhattan Project.

1945 – 1958Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry (1945-1952) and Martin A. Reyerson Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry (1952-1958), Institute for Nuclear Studies, University of Chicago, Chicago (Ill.).

1946 – 1951Vice Chair, Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists.

1956 – 1957George Eastman Visiting Professor, Oxford University.

1958 – 1981Professor-at-Large of Chemistry (1958-1970) and Emeritus Professor of Chemistry (1970-1981), University of California, San Diego, La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.).

1964Awarded National Medal of Science.

January 5, 1981Death, La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.).

Occupation

Physical chemist.

Places

Birth

Walkerton (Ind.)

Undergraduate Education

Missoula (Mont.)

Graduate Education

Berkeley (Calif.)

Employment

Baltimore (Md.)

New York (N.Y.)

Chicago (Ill.)

La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.)

Death

La Jolla (San Diego, Calif.)

Subjects

Atomic structure.

Chemistry.

Deuterium.

Entropy.

Isotope separation.

Physical chemistry.

Relationships

People

Family

Reinoehl, Cora Rebecca

Mother.

Urey, Frieda

Wife. Married in 1926.

Urey, Samuel Clayton

Father.

Advisors & Collaborators

Bohr, Niels, 1885-1962

Post-doc advisor at University of Copenhagen (Københavns Universitet).

Cohn, Mildred, 1913-2009

Advised by Urey at Columbia University.

Craig, Harmon

Advised by Urey at University of Chicago, "The geochemistry of the stable carbon isotopes."

Donn, Bertram

Research advised by Urey at University of Chicago.

Emiliani, Cesare

Advised by Urey at University of Miami.

Hutchinson, Clyde A., Jr.

Post-doc advised by Urey at Columbia University.

Lewis, Gilbert Newton, 1875-1946

PhD advisor at University of California, Berkeley.

Miller, Stanley,

Advised by Urey at University of Chicago, "A production of organic compounds under possible primitive earth conditions."

Pegram, George Braxton, 1876-1958

Collaborated on experiments at Columbia University.

Rowland, F. S.

Advised by Urey at University of Chicago.

Ruark, Arthur Edward, 1899-

Co-Wrote "Atoms, Molecules and Quanta."

Wasserburg, Gerald J. (Gerald Joseph), 1927-

Advised by Urey at University of Chicago, "A40 - K40 dating : Age of meteorites by the A40 - K40 method."

Colleagues

Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965

Both employed at the Office of Scientific Research and Development and University of Chicago, Institute for Nuclear Studies.

Beams, Jesse W. (Jesse Wakefield), 1898-1977

Both worked on the Technical Subcommittee, Advisory Committee on Uranium.

Breit, Gregory, 1899-1981

Both worked on the Technical Subcommittee, Advisory Committee on Uranium.

Brueckner, Keith A.

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Chandler, David, 1944-

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954

Both employed at Columbia University and University of Chicago, Institute for Nuclear Studies.

Garwin, Richard L.

Both employed at University of Chicago, Institute for Nuclear Studies.

Gell-Mann, Murray

Both employed at University of Chicago, Institute for Nuclear Studies.

Mayer, Joseph Edward, 1904-

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

Onsager, Lars, 1903-1976

Both employed at Johns Hopkins University.

York, Herbert F. (Herbert Frank)

Both employed at University of California, San Diego.

Additional

Alexander, Jerome, 1876-1959

Alfvén, Hannes

Amrine, Milton Frederick, 1918-1974

Anshen, Ruth Nanda

Arnold, James, 1923-

Bergmann, M. (Max)

Birge, Raymond T. (Raymond Thayer), 1887-

Bleakney, Walker, 1901-1992

Broecker, Wallace S., 1931-

Bush, Vannevar, 1890-1974

Cameron, A. G. W. (Alastair Graham Walter), 1925-

Cohen, Karl

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955

Epstein, Samuel, 1919-

Fajans, Kasimir, 1887-1975

Fowler, William A.

Goldberger, Marvin L.

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

Grosse, Aristid von, 1905-1985

Hammett, Louis P. (Louis Plack), 1894-1987

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

Heisenberg, Werner, 1901-1976

Herzfeld, Karl F. (Karl Ferdinand), 1892-

Hevesy, Georg von, 1885-1966

Hoyt, Frank Clark, 1898-

Humason, Milton L. (Milton La Salle), 1891-1972

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

Kowarski, Lew

Kulp, J. Laurence (John Laurence),

Libby, Willard F.

Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-

Lorentz, H. A. (Hendrik Antoon), 1853-1928

MacDonald, Gordon J. (Gordon James), 1929-2002

Morrison, Philip

Mulliken, Robert Sanderson

Newburn, R. L. (Ray L.),

Nier, Alfred O. (Alfred Otto), 1911-1994

Nierenberg, William Aaron, 1919-2000

Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967

Ramsey, Norman, 1915-2011

Richardson, O. W. (Owen Willans), 1879-1959

Roe, Anne, 1904-1991

Sagan, Carl, 1934-1996

Schwarzschild, Martin

Shenstone, A. G. (Allen Goodrich)

Siegel, K. M. (Keeve Milton), 1923-

Slater, John C. (John Clarke), 1900-1976

Smith, Cyril Stanley, 1903-1992

Smyth, Henry De Wolf, 1898-1986

Stewart, George Walter, 1876-1956

Suess, Hans Eduard, 1909-

Szilard, Leo

Uhlenbeck, George Eugène, 1900-1988

Weber, Louis Russell, 1901-1989

Wood, Robert Williams, 1868-1955

Institutions

Major Positions

Columbia University. Department of Chemistry

Associate Professor; Professor of Chemistry; and Executive Officer.

Johns Hopkins University. Department of Chemistry

Associate in Chemistry.

Manhattan Project (U.S.)

Project Leader, Columbia SAM Laboratories.

University of California, San Diego. Department of Chemistry

Professor-at-Large of Chemistry and Emeritus Professor of Chemistry.

University of Chicago. Institute for Nuclear Studies

Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry and Martin A. Ryerson Distinguished Service Professor of Chemistry.

University of Montana--Missoula

Obtained BS in Zoology (1917). Instructor in Chemistry.

University of Oxford. Department of Physics

George Eastman Visiting Professor.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Institute of Physics

Editor, Journal of Chemical Physics.

Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists

Vice Chair.

Københavns universitet

American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellow.

National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)

Member.

United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development

Member, Section on Uranium; Member, Executive Committee, Section S-1; and Program Chief, Section S-1.

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

Member, Committee on Uranium.

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Chemistry

Obtained PhD (1923).

University of California, Berkeley. Department of Physics

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

George Walter Stewart papers, 1899-1955.

Main Library. Archives

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA 52242-1420, USA

Hannes Alfvén papers, 1945-1991.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Hans Eduard Suess papers, 1875-1989.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Harmon Craig papers, 1923-2005.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Harold C. Urey papers, 1932-1953.

The Joseph Regenstein Library. Department of Special Collections

University of Chicago

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Harold Clayton Urey papers, 1929-1981.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

James Arnold papers, 1946-1998.

Mandeville Special Collections Library

University of California, San Diego

9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA

Jerome Alexander correspondence, 1908-1953.

Rare Books and Manuscripts Division

New York Public Library

Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York, NY 10018, USA

K. M. Siegel papers, 1957-1973.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Kasimir Fajans papers, 1912-1975.

Bentley Historical Library

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-2113, USA

Nobel laureates on scientific research project : oral history, 1964.

Oral History Research Office

Columbia University

Box 20, Room 801 Butler Library, New York, NY 10027, USA

O. W. Richardson papers, 1897-1959 (bulk 1920-1940).

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

University of Texas at Austin

P.O. Drawer 7219, Austin, TX 78713-7219, USA

Oral history interview with Harold Clayton Urey, 1964 March 24.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Reminiscences of Harold Clayton Urey : oral history, 1964.

Oral History Research Office

Columbia University

Box 20, Room 801 Butler Library, New York, NY 10027, USA

Ruth N. Anshen papers, 1938-1986.

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Columbia University

Butler Library, 6th Floor East, New York, NY 10027, USA

Subject

Allen Shenstone autobiography, 1962.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Anne Roe papers, 1949-1971 (bulk).

Library.

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Atomic energy for military purposes, 1945 [typescript].

Manuscripts and Archives Department

Hagley Museum and Library

298 Buck Road East, Greenville, DE 19807, USA

Clyde A. Hutchison, Jr. papers, 1913-2000.

The Joseph Regenstein Library. Department of Special Collections

University of Chicago

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Columbia University Department of Physics Historical Records, 1862-1997.

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Columbia University

Butler Library, 6th Floor East, New York, NY 10027, USA

Edward Condon papers, circa 1920-1974.

Library.

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Edwin C. Kemble papers [microform], 1919-1937.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Emergency Committee of Atomic Scientists records, 1946-1951.

The Joseph Regenstein Library. Department of Special Collections

University of Chicago

1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Georg von Hevesy scientific correspondence, 1910-1966.

Niels Bohr Archive

Blegdamsvej 17, Copenhagen, Denmark

Gerald Wasserburg papers, 1927-2011.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Gilbert Newton Lewis papers, 1908-1945.

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA, 94720-6000, USA

Harold Urey memorial symposium [sound recording] : Harold Urey, the scientist and Harold Urey, the man / 1981 February 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

History of atomic energy collection, 1896-1991.

Libraries. Special Collections

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR 97331, USA

Karl Herzfeld papers, 1914-1977.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Karl P. Cohen papers, 1931-2010.

Department of Special Collections and University Archives

Stanford University

Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Lecture on stable isotopes from CO2 [videorecording].

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Louis R. Weber notes on Harold Clayton Urey, circa 1969.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Martin Schwarzschild papers, 1939-1994.

Department of Rare Books and Special Collections

Princeton University

1 Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA

Max Bergmann papers, circa 1930-1945.

Library.

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Mildred Cohn papers, 1947-1980.

Library.

American Philosophical Society

105 South Fifth Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106, USA

Milton F. Amrine papers, 1925-1974.

Library. Special Collections Division

Georgetown University

37th and O Streets NW, Washington, DC 20057, USA

Milton L. Humason papers, 1948-1952.

Henry E. Huntington Library

1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108, USA

Oral history interview with Alastair G. W. Cameron, 2003 February 10.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Aristid Victor Grosse, 1974 January 11 and April 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Carl Sagan, 1991 August 27.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Cyril Stanley Smith, 1976 September 23.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Frank Clark Hoyt, 1964 April 28.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Gordon J. MacDonald, 1993 November 15, 1994 March 18 and 1995 August 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harmon Craig, 1996 April 29.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. Laurence Kulp, 1996 April 11, 12.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with J. Robert Oppenheimer, 1960 February.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Leonard B. Loeb, 1962 August 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Lew Kowarski, 1974 November 20 and 2 August 1976.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Louis Plack Hammett, 1978 May 1 and 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Margaret Burbidge, 1978 July 13.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Marvin L. Goldberger, 1986 February 12.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Murray Gell-Mann, 1997 July 17 and 18.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Oral history interview with Norman Ramsey, 1978 December 19, 1979 January 5 and 18.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, 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 S. Keith Runcorn, 1993 September 16 and 17.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Samuel Epstein, 1985 December 19 and 26, 1986 January 10.

Institute Archives

California Institute of Technology

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

Oral history interview with Vannevar Bush, 1964.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Wallace S. Broecker, 1995 December 29, 1997 May 8 and June 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Willard Frank Libby, 1979 April 12 and 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William Aaron Nierenberg, 1986 February 6 and June 26, 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, 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

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

Physical Review records, 1940-1947.

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

James Madison Memorial Building, First Street and Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540, USA

Ray L. Newburn collection.

Archives Division

Smithsonian Institution. National Air and Space Museum

MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560, USA

Published Resources

Author

Atoms, molecules, and quanta / by Arthur Edward Ruark ... and Harold Clayton Urey …

The planets, their origin and development.

Subject

"Harold Clayton Urey: 1892-1981", Biographical Memoirs of the National Academy of Sciences

"Harold Urey and the Discovery of Deuterium," Physics Today 35 (1982): 34-39

"Harold Urey and the Origin of the Moon: The Interaction of Science and the Apollo Program," in Space Lab, Space Platforms, and the Future, ed. Peter M. Bainum and Dietrich E. Koelle (San Diego: American Astronautical Society: 1982), 437-470

Harold C. Urey Physics Today obituary.

Harold Urey Columbia University "Columbia 250" Profile.

Harold Urey Nobel Prize biography.