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Table of Contents

Institutional History

AbstractImportant DatesPlacesSubjectsCitations

Relationships

PeopleInstitutions

Resources

Archival as AuthorArchival as SubjectPublished as AuthorPublished as Subject

New York University. Department of Physics

Photo

Dates

1831 – present

Authorized Form of Name

New York University. Department of Physics

Additional Forms of Names

New York University. Dept. of Physics

Institutional History

Abstract

New York University was founded in 1831 and a strong physics curriculum was created when they acquired the Uptown Heights campus in the Bronx in 1894. A transition to modern physics occurred beginning in 1929 when Gregory Breit became Chairman of the Physics Department and he attracted numerous young researchers including Jenny Rosenthal Bramley, the first woman to receive a PhD in physics at an American institution. The Department is currently located in Greenwich Village, Manhattan with the faculty researching in areas such as astrophysics and cosmology, theoretical physics, condensed matter physics, biophysics, fluid dynamics, and applied mathematical physics.

Important Dates

1831New York University was founded, New York (N.Y.).

1885 – 1886Presumably the first year in which the University had a Professor of Physics, New York (N.Y.).

1898A former private residence was converted to become the new home of the Physics Department, Butler Hall, New York (N.Y.).

1904First PhD in Physics is awarded.

1920 – 1929F. Wheeler Loomis was on faculty.

1920s – 1930sThe first modern research of the department was in atomic and molecular spectroscopy.

1925 – 1942H. van Norman Hilberry was on faculty.

1926 – 1928Robert Mulliken was on faculty.

1929 – 1934Gregory Breit was on faculty.

1933 – 1934John Wheeler was on faculty.

1938 – 1946Eugene Feenberg was on faculty.

1945 – 1946Henry Primakoff was on faculty.

1950 – 2006Larry Spruch was on faculty.

1951 – 1968Bruno Zumino was on faculty.

1952 – presentBenjamin Bederson has been on faculty.

1959 – 1962Robert Kraichnan was on faculty.

1964 – 1969Malvin Ruderman was on faculty.

1971 – 1973Harry Swinney was on faculty.

1971 – 1974Herman Cummins was on faculty.

1973The Heights campus was sold to the City University of New York causing the Heights Physics Department to become part of the School of Engineering.

2005 – presentPaul Chaikin has been on faculty.

2007 – presentPaul Horn has been on faculty.

2010 – presentPierre Hohenberg has been on faculty.

2012 – presentSteven Koonin has been on faculty.

Places

Headquarters

New York (N.Y.)

Subjects

Applied mathematics.

Astrophysics.

Biophysics.

Condensed matter.

Cosmology.

Fluid dynamics.

Particles (Nuclear physics).

Physics -- Study and teaching.

Theoretical physics.

Citations

Historical information from Benjamin Bederson and H. Henry Stroke, "History of the New York University Physics Department," Physics in Perspective 13 (2011): 260-328.

Relationships

People

Employees & Officers

Aizenman, Michael

Professor of Physics.

Bederson, Benjamin

Received PhD (1950); Assistant Professor to Professor of Physics; Chair, Department of Physics; and Emeritus Professor of Physics.

Breit, Gregory, 1899-1981

Professor of Physics.

Chaikin, Paul M.

Silver Professor of Physics, Center for Soft Condensed Matter Research.

Cummins, Herman Z., 1933-

Professor of Physics.

Feenberg, Eugene

Assistant Professor of Physics, Washington Square College.

Feinberg, Gerald, 1933-

Consultant in Physics.

Hilberry, Norman, 1899-

Instructor in Physics, Washington Square College and Instructor to Assistant Professor, College of Arts and Sciences.

Hohenberg, Pierre C.

Professor of Physics and Professor Emeritus of Physics.

Koonin, Steven E.

Professor of Physics.

Kraichnan, Robert H., 1928-2008

Senior Research Scientist.

Loomis, F. W. (Francis Wheeler), 1889-1976

Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Physics.

Mulliken, Robert Sanderson

Assistant Professor of Physics.

Primakoff, H. (Henry), 1914-1983

Received PhD (1938) and Assistant Professor of Physics.

Ruderman, Malvin A.

Visiting Professor and Professor of Physics.

Spruch, Larry

Assistant Professor; Associate Professor; Professor; and Emeritus Professor.

Swinney, H. L., 1939-

Assistant Professor of Physics.

Wheeler, John Archibald, 1911-2008

National Research Council (NRC) Fellow.

Zumino, B. (Bruno), 1923-

Research Associate and Assistant Professor to Professor of Physics.

PhD Students

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

Received PhD in Physics (1958).

Bernstein, Ira B.

Received PhD (1950).

Holstein, Theodore David, 1915-1985

Received BS and PhD in Physics (1940).

Reines, Frederick, 1918-1998

Received PhD in Theoretical Physics (1944).

Shull, Clifford Glenwood

Received PhD in Nuclear Physics (1941).

Spencer, Thomas, 1946-

Received PhD (1972).

Associates & Members

Beers, Yardley, 1913-

Doremus, Robert Ogden, 1824-1906

Ferguson, Walter Finnall Cross, 1898-

Fisher, Leon H. (Leon Harold), 1918-

Gerjuoy, Edward

Hering, D. W. (Daniel Webster), 1850-1938

Kelly, Katherine Milsted

Lax, Melvin J.

Received BA (1942).

Lewis, H. W. (Harold Warren)

Marshak, Robert E. (Robert Eugene), 1916-1992

Simpson, John A. (John Alexander), 1916-2000

Received SM (1942) and PhD (1943).

Ungar, Eric E.

Varney, Robert N.

Institutions

Institutional Hierarchy

New York University

Associates

American Institute of Physics. Center for History of Physics

Participated in the study of multi-institutional collaborations.

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

Resources

Archival Resources

Author

Pages from catalogs listing the New York University Physics Department staff, 1900-1940.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Subject

Clifford Glenwood Shull collection, 1937-1997.

Hunt Library. University Archives.

Carnegie Mellon University.

4909 Frew Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Daniel Hering papers, 1889-1939.

Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library

New York University

70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, USA

Draper family collection, 1835-1936.

Archives Center

Smithsonian Institution. National Museum of American History

MRC 601, 12th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20560, USA

Draper family collection, 1836-1982.

Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library

New York University

70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, USA

Eugene Feenberg correspondence, 1927-1958.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

John A. Simpson papers, 1940-1988.

The Joseph Regenstein Library. Department of Special Collections

University of Chicago

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

Larry Spruch papers, 1943-2005 (bulk 1950-2002).

Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library

New York University

70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, USA

Oral history interview with Edward Gerjuoy, 2012 April 1, October 7, and 2013 April 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Eric Ungar, 2001 December 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Eugene Feenberg, 1973 April 13 and 14.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Harold Warren Lewis, 1986 July 6.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with John Archibald Wheeler, 1967 April 5.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Katharine Milsted Kelly, 1976 July 2.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Leon H. Fisher and Robert N. Varney, 2008 July 26.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interview with Robert Marshak, 1970 June 15, 16, September 19, and October 4.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Oral history interviews. High-Energy Physics. Selected Experiments: SLAC-PEP-004-009: The Time Projection Chamber and 2-Gamma Detector at PEP, 1990-1991.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Robert Doremus lectures, 1872.

Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library

New York University

70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, USA

Serge A. Korff papers, 1928-1989, bulk 1950-1975.

Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library

New York University

70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, USA

Walter Finall Cross Ferguson autobiography, circa 1964.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

William F. Burroughs student notebook, 1858.

Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library

New York University

70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, USA

Yardley Beers autobiography, circa 1965.

Niels Bohr Library & Archives

American Institute of Physics

One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740, USA

Published Resources

Author

Journal of the proceedings of a convention of literary and scientific gentlemen, held in the Common council chamber of the city of New York, October, 1830.

Luminescence of organic and inorganic materials, international conference, New York University. Edited by Hartmut P. Kallmann [and] Grace Marmor Spruch. Sponsored by Air Force Aeronautical Research Laboratory [and others].

Science and technology policy : perspectives for the 1980s / edited by Herbert I. Fusfeld and Carmela S. Haklisch.

Subject

"History of the New York University Physics Department," Physics in Perspective 13 (2011): 260-328.