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ⓘ John Hasbrouck Van Vleck




John Hasbrouck Van Vleck
                                     

ⓘ John Hasbrouck Van Vleck

John Hasbrouck Van Vleck was an American physicist and mathematician. He was co-awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1977, for his contributions to the understanding of the behavior of electrons in magnetic solids.

                                     

1. Education and early life

Born in Middletown, Connecticut, the son of mathematician Edward Burr Van Vleck and grandson of astronomer John Monroe Van Vleck, he grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and received an A.B. degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1920. Then he went to Harvard for graduate studies and earned a Ph.D degree in 1922 under the supervision of Edwin C. Kemble.

                                     

2. Career and research

He joined the University of Minnesota as an assistant professor in 1923, then moved to the University of Wisconsin–Madison before settling at Harvard. He also earned Honorary D. Sc., or D. Honoris Causa, degree from Wesleyan University in 1936.

J. H. Van Vleck established the fundamentals of the quantum mechanical theory of magnetism, crystal field theory and ligand field theory chemical bonding in metal complexes. He is regarded as the Father of Modern Magnetism.

During World War II, J. H. Van Vleck worked on radar at the MIT Radiation Lab. He was half time at the Radiation Lab and half time on the staff at Harvard. He showed that at about 1.25-centimeter wavelength water molecules in the atmosphere would lead to troublesome absorption and that at 0.5-centimeter wavelength there would be a similar absorption by oxygen molecules. This was to have important consequences not just for military and civil radar systems but later for the new science of radioastronomy.

J. H. Van Vleck participated in the Manhattan Project. In June 1942, J. Robert Oppenheimer held a summer study for confirming the concept and feasibility of a nuclear weapon at the University of California, Berkeley. Eight theoretical scientists, including J. H. Van Vleck, attended it. From July to September, the theoretical study group examined and developed the principles of atomic bomb design.

J. H. Van Vlecks theoretical work led to the establishment of the Los Alamos Nuclear Weapons Laboratory. He also served on the Los Alamos Review committee in 1943. The committee, established by General Leslie Groves, also consisted of W. K. Lewis of MIT, Chairman; E. L. Rose, of Jones & Lamson; E. B. Wilson of Harvard; and Richard C. Tolman, Vice Chairman of NDRC. The committees important contribution originating with Rose was a reduction in the size of the firing gun for the Little Boy atomic bomb, a concept that eliminated additional design weight and sped up production of the bomb for its eventual release over Hiroshima. However, it was not employed for the Fat Man bomb at Nagasaki, which relied on implosion of a plutonium shell to reach critical mass.

The philosopher and historian of science Thomas Kuhn completed a Ph.D. in physics under van Vlecks supervision at Harvard.

In 1961/62 he was George Eastman Visiting Professor at University of Oxford and held a professorship at Balliol College.

In 1950 he became foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He was awarded the National Medal of Science in 1966 and the Lorentz Medal in 1974. For his contributions to the understanding of the behavior of electrons in magnetic solids, Van Vleck was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 1977, along with Philip W. Anderson and Sir Nevill Mott. Van Vleck transformations, Van Vleck paramagnetism and Van Vleck formula are named after him.

Van Vleck died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, aged 81.

                                     

3. Awards and honors

He was awarded the Irving Langmuir Award in 1965, the National Medal of Science in 1966 and elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society ForMemRS in 1967. He was awarded the Elliott Cresson Medal in 1971, the Lorentz Medal in 1974 and the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1977.

                                     

4. Personal life

J. H. Van Vleck and his wife Abigail were also important art collectors, particularly in the medium of Japanese woodblock prints principally Ukiyo-e, known as Van Vleck Collection. It was inherited from his father Edward Burr Van Vleck. They donated it to the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin in 1980s.

                                     

5. Publications

  • The Correspondence Principle in the Statistical Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of USA, vol. 14, pp. 178–188 1928
  • The Theory of Electric and Magnetic Susceptibilities Oxford at Clarendon, 1932.
  • Quantum Mechanics, The Key to Understanding Magnetism, Nobel Lecture, December 8, 1977
  • Quantum Principles and Line Spectra,
  • The Absorption of Radiation by Multiply Periodic Orbits, and its Relation to the Correspondence Principle and the Rayleigh–Jeans Law. Part II. Calculation of Absorption by Multiply Periodic Orbits, Physical Review, vol. 24, Issue 4, pp. 347–365 1924
  • The Absorption of Radiation by Multiply Periodic Orbits, and its Relation to the Correspondence Principle and the Rayleigh–Jeans Law. Part I. Some Extensions of the Correspondence Principle, Physical Review, vol. 24, Issue 4, pp. 330–346 1924
                                     
  • Nobel Prize in Physics, together with Philip Warren Anderson and John Hasbrouck Van Vleck for their fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic
  • John H. Hubbell John H. Lawrence John H. Manley John Hagelin John Hall Gladstone John Harnad John Hartnett physicist John Hasbrouck Van Vleck John Hegarty
  • ? Vleck Edward Burr Van USA, 1863 1943 Vleck John Hasbrouck Van USA, 1899 1980 Vleck John Monroe Van USA, 1833 1912 Vliet, Carolyne Van
  • the theory originated in the 1930s with the work on magnetism of John Hasbrouck Van Vleck Griffith and Orgel used the electrostatic principles established
  • from 1935 to 1938, working with to - be Nobel laureates in physics John Hasbrouck van Vleck and Percy Williams Bridgman on problems in cohesion and electrical
  • his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Wisconsin Madison with John Van Vleck in 1934. He married Charlotte Leof 26 Jul 1911 1967 the daughter
  • study the new field of quantum mechanics under John Hasbrouck Van Vleck His thesis, supervised by John T. Tate, was Efficiency of Excitation by Electron
  • Pomfret Eli Terry East Windsor Seth Thomas Wolcott John Hasbrouck Van Vleck Middletown William H. Welch Norfolk Warren L. Wheaton Pomfret Nathaniel
  • John Harry Williams July 7, 1908 April 18, 1966 was a Canadian - American physicist. Born in the asbetos mining town of Asbestos, Quebec, he had three

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