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Table of Contents

Biography

AbstractImportant DatesOccupationPlacesSubjects

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as Subject

Robert Jemison Van de Graaf

Photo

Dates

December 20, 1901 – January 16, 1967

Authorized Form of Name

Van de Graaf, Robert Jemison, 1901-1967

Additional Forms of Names

De Graaf, Robert Jemison van, 1901-1967

Graaf, Robert Jemison van de, 1901-1967

Van de Graaf, Robert J.

Van de Graaff, Robert

Biography

Abstract

Robert Van de Graaf was Chief Scientist at High Voltage Engineering Corporation (1946-1967). Other institutional affiliations included Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His research interests included electrostatic generators and nuclear research. He invented the Van de Graaff generator, an apparatus designed to supply high voltage to accelerate subatomic particles to very high velocities for the bombardment and study of atomic nuclei.

Important Dates

December 20, 1901Birth, Tuscaloosa (Ala.).

1922Obtained BS, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (Ala.).

1923Obtained MS, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa (Ala.).

1926Obtained BSc, Oxford University, Oxford (England).

1928Obtained PhD, Oxford University, Oxford (England).

1928 – 1929International Education Board Fellow, Oxford University.

1929 – 1931National Research Council (NRC) Fellow, Princeton University.

1931 – 1960Research Associate (1931-1934) and Associate Professor of Physics (1934-1960), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge (Mass.).

1946 – 1967Chief Scientist, High Voltage Engineering Corporation, Wakefield (Mass.).

1966Awarded Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics, American Physical Society.

January 16, 1967Death, Boston (Mass.).

Occupation

Nuclear physicist.

Places

Birth

Tuscaloosa (Ala.)

Undergraduate Education

Tuscaloosa (Ala.)

Oxford (England)

Graduate Education

Tuscaloosa (Ala.)

Oxford (England)

Employment

Cambridge (Mass.)

Wakefield (Mass.)

Death

Boston (Mass.)

Subjects

Electrostatic accelerators.

Nuclear physics.

Particle beams.

Relationships

People

Advisors & Collaborators

Barton, Henry Askew, 1898-1983

Co-wrote the article "A New Design for a High-Voltage Discharge Tube."

Buechner, William W. (William Weber), 1914-1985

Advised by Van de Graaf at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), "The production and focusing of intense proton beams."

Myers, Frank Evans

Research advised by Van de Graaf at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Townsend, John, Sir, 1868-1957

PhD advisor at Oxford University, "I. Ionization of Hydrogen and Nitrogen; II. Velocities of Ions and Electrons in Gases under a Constant Electric Force."

Trump, John G.

Advised by Van de Graaf at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Vacuum electrostatic engineering.

Colleagues

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

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Benedek, George Bernard, 1928-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Bitter, Francis, 1902-1967

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Bleakney, Walker, 1901-1992

Both employed at Princeton University.

Burstein, Elias, 1917-2017

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Callen, Herbert B.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Chodorow, Marvin

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Compton, K. T. (Karl Taylor), 1887-1954

Both employed at Princeton University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974

Both employed at Princeton University.

Deutsch, Martin, 1917-2002

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Drell, Sidney D. (Sidney David), 1926-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Eisenhart, Luther Pfahler, 1876-1965

Both employed at Princeton University.

Enge, Harald A.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Feshbach, Herman

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Friedman, Jerome I. (Jerome Isaac), 1930-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Galt, John Kirtland, 1920-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Goldberger, Marvin L.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Hansen, W. W. (William Webster), 1909-1949

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Herring, William Conyers, 1914-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Jackson, John David, 1925-2016

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Killian, T. J. (Thomas Joseph), 1905-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Klein, Martin J.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Kraushaar, William L.

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Livingston, M. Stanley (Milton Stanley)

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Morse, Philip M. (Philip McCord), 1903-1985

Both employed at Princeton University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Orowan, E. (Egon), 1902-1989

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Rossi, Bruno, 1905-1993

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Schulz, George J., 1925-

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Shenstone, A. G. (Allen Goodrich)

Both employed at Princeton University.

Shull, Clifford Glenwood

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Smyth, Henry De Wolf, 1898-1986

Both employed at Princeton University.

Spruch, Larry

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Stratton, Julius Adams, 1901-1994

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, 1908-2002

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Zacharias, Jerrold Reinach, 1905-1986

Both employed at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Additional

Blewett, John P. (John Paul), 1910-

Cockcroft, John, Sir, 1897-1967

Evans, Robley Dunglison, 1907-

Inglis, David Rittenhouse, 1905-1995

Kerst, Donald William, 1911-1993

McCrea, William Hunter

McMillan, Edwin M. (Edwin Mattison), 1907-

Robinson, Denis Morrell, 1907-

Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982

Waly, Adnan

Institutions

Major Positions

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Physics

Research Associate and Associate Professor of Physics.

Princeton University. Department of Physics

National Research Council (NRC) Fellow.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

American Physical Society

Received 1966 Tom W. Bonner Prize in Nuclear Physics.

University of Alabama

Obtained BS (1922) and MS (1923).

University of Oxford. Department of Physics

Obtained BSc (1926) and PhD (1928). International Education Board Fellow.

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Robert Van de Graaff papers, 1928-1948 (bulk 1943-1946).

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Subject

Donald W. Kerst papers, 1937-1959.

University Archives

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

1408 West Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

High Voltage Engineering Corporation records, 1933-1969.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

John G. Trump papers, 1937-1981.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Merle Antony Tuve papers, 1901-1982 (bulk 1941-1966).

Manuscript Division

Library of Congress

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

MIT Office of the President records of Karl Taylor Compton and James Rhyne Killian, 1930-1959.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

MIT Office of the Vice President records, 1932-1938.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Oral history interview with Adnan Waly, 1994 February-March.

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 Denis Morrell Robinson, 1978 May 23.

niels

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Edwin M. McMillan, 1972 June 1, 2, and October 30, 31.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harald Anton Enge, 1987 August 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Henry A. Barton, 1970 March 3 and 16.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Clarke Slater, 1970 February 23 and August 7.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Merle Antony Tuve, 1967 March 30.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Milton Stanley Livingston, 1967 August 21.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robley D. Evans, 1972 May 2, 3, 1974 May 5 and 1978 June 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Sir John Cockcroft, 1967 March 28.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with William Hunter McCrea, 1978 September 22.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Reminiscences about accelerators: Brookhaven lecture, 1980.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

William W. Buechner papers, 1928-1978.

Institute Archives and Special Collections

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

M.I.T. Libraries, Rm. 14N-118, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

Published Resources

Subject

MIT Exhibit: The Van de Graaff Generator, 1933