American Philosophical Society
Member History

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106. Physics[X]
 Name:  Dr. Pierre Aigrain
 Institution:  Université de Paris VII
 Year Elected:  1981
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1924
 Death Date:  October 30, 2002
   
 Name:  Dr. Hannes Olof G. Alfvén
 Institution:  Royal Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  1971
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1908
 Death Date:  4/2/95
   
 Name:  Dr. James A. Van Allen
 Institution:  University of Iowa
 Year Elected:  1961
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1914
 Death Date:  August 9, 2006
   
 Name:  Dr. M. Ali Alpar
 Institution:  Sabanci University; The Science Academy, Istanbul
 Year Elected:  2013
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1950
   
 
M. Ali Alpar is the founding president of the Science Academy, Istanbul, Turkey and Professor of Physics at Sabanci University. He has made important contributions in theoretical astrophysics, to our understanding of superfluid dynamics in neutron stars, to the evolution of millisecond pulsars. His current research focuses on neutron star glitches and on neutron star evolution with fallback disks. He is a member of the Academia Europaea. He was elected an international member of the American Philosophical Society in 2013.
 
 Name:  Dr. Luis Walter Alvarez
 Institution:  University of California, Berkeley
 Year Elected:  1953
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1911
 Death Date:  9/1/88
   
 Name:  Prof. Edoardo Amaldi
 Institution:  Universita "La Sapienza"
 Year Elected:  1961
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1908
 Death Date:  12/6/89
   
 Name:  Dr. Robert Fox Bacher
 Institution:  California Institute of Technology
 Year Elected:  1948
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1905
 Death Date:  November 18, 2004
   
 Name:  Dr. John Bardeen
 Institution:  University of Illinois
 Year Elected:  1958
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1908
 Death Date:  1/30/91
   
 Name:  Dr. Gordon Alan Baym
 Institution:  University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign & Niels Bohr Institute
 Year Elected:  2000
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1935
   
 
Gordon Baym received a Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 1960. He was an NSF postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen (1960-62), and then a lecturer and assistant research physicist at the University of California, Berkeley (1962-63). In 1963, he moved to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where he has served as Center for Advanced Study Professor of Physics and George and Ann Fisher Distinguished Professor of Engineering. He is currently Professor Emeritus and Research Professor at University of Illinois, as well as Adjunct Professor at the Niels Bohr Institute of the University of Copenhagen. He was an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research fellow (1965-67) and an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation fellow (1983-88). A theoretical physicist of unusual depth and breadth, he pioneered the application of field-theoretic methods to quantum condensed matter systems. He is a leading theorist of quantum solids and liquids, nuclei, astronomical objects, and ultracold trapped atomic systems. His papers on neutron stars described the unusual matter they contain, their structure, and formation in supernova explosions. He played a key intellectual role in building the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven. Active in the history of science, he chaired the American Physical Society Forum on the History of Physics (1995-97). Dr. Baym is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Among his awards are three from the American Physical Society: the Hans A. Bethe Prize in 2002, the Lars Onsager Prize in 2008, and the Medal for Exceptional Achievement in Research in 2021. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2000.
 
 Name:  Dr. Eshel Ben-Jacob
 Institution:  Tel Aviv University; Rice University
 Year Elected:  2014
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1952
 Death Date:  June 5, 2015
   
 
Eshel Ben-Jacob was a professor of Physics and Astronomy, Maguy-Glass Prof. in Physics of Complex Systems and Member of the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University, Israel. He was also an Adjunct Prof. of Biosciences and Senior Investigator at the Center of Theoretical Biological Physics (CTBP) at Rice University. Prof. Ben-Jacob finished his PhD in Physics (1982) at Tel Aviv University, during which he investigated the nonlinear dynamics and noise effects in networks of superconductors. He spent three years (1981-1984) as a post doctoral fellow at the Institute for Theoretical Physics (ITP; today KITP) at the University of California Santa Barbara and made his first groundbreaking work during that time. He and his collaborators solved the long standing "snowflake" problem, formulated by Kepler back in 1610, and lay the foundations of self-organization and pattern formation in open systems far from equilibrium - a field he pioneered and in which he made several breakthroughs (e.g., comprehending the singular interplay between the micro and macro level dynamics, formulating new self-consistent selection principles, founding a new theory of morphology selection). At the same time, Ben-Jacob suggested and showed, theoretically and experimentally, that Coulomb effect can be utilized to control single electron quantum tunneling in sub-micron systems. This led him to the invention (1988) of a transistor operating by single electron tunneling. He was awarded the Landau Prize for research in 1986. Ben-Jacob continued to study quantum effects in small systems, predicting (in the 90s) that flux solitons can behave as quantum relativistic particles. Enthralled by the even greater challenge posed by self-organization in living systems, Ben-Jacob embarked on a new direction of applying physics principles and investigation methods to biology. His first and ongoing effort was bacterial colony development, believing that the foundations of cognition are rooted in these most fundamental life forms - in their abilities to assess the environment, process the information they sense, and adapt accordingly. Among his achievements in the last two decades in physical microbiology were revealing the principles of self organization in bacterial colonies and of collective decision making by social bacteria. While continuing to work on bacteria, Ben-Jacob turned to apply what he learned there to studies of neural network organization and task performance. Here, his most noticeable accomplishment was the first imprinting of multiple memories in live neuronal networks outside the brain utilizing his new "functional holography" analysis of the network activity. Being recognized as a revolutionary step in Networks Neuroscience, this endeavor was selected by Scientific American as one of the 50 most important achievements in all fields of science and technology in 2007. Ben-Jacob then utilized the "functional holography" method for analyzing recorded human brain activity with application to epilepsy. He applied his methods in clinical studies of brain repair from stroke and traumatic brain injuries by hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Ben-Jacob's last endeavor was applying what he learned from the microbial world in cancer research. Here he promoted the idea that cancer cells, like bacteria, use advanced communication and cooperation through which they migrate, colonize new organs, develop drug resistance, deceive the immune system and enslave stromal cells. In line of this paradigm, he worked on revealing the operational principles underlying these lethal traits and developing a new theoretical framework to studying new classes of therapeutic strategies intended to defeat cancer by means of "cyberwar", i.e. targeting its communication, cooperation and control. Prof. Ben-Jacob served as vice president (1998-2001) and President (2001-2004) of the Israel Physical Society. He was granted the award of Cavaliere dell'Ordine della Stella della solidarietà Italiana for promotion of science and science culture (2008). He was awarded the Weizmann prize in Physical Sciences in 2013 for "innovative application of physical methods to the study of biological communities such as bacteria colonies, neural networks, and tumors" and inducted an International member of the American Philosophical Society in mathematical and physical sciences in 2014. He died on June 5, 2015, in Tel Aviv, Israel, at the age of 63.
 
 Name:  Professor Sir Michael Victor Berry
 Institution:  University of Bristol
 Year Elected:  2021
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1941
   
 
Michael Berry is Melville Wills Professor of Physics (Emeritus) at the University of Bristol, UK, where he has been for more than twice as long he has not. He is a physicist, focusing on the physics of the mathematics...of the physics. Applications include the geometry of singularities (caustics on large scales, vortices on fine scales) in optics and other waves, connections between classical and quantum physics, and the physical asymptotics of divergent series. He delights in finding the arcane in the mundane - abstract and subtle concepts in familiar or dramatic phenomena: *Singularities of smooth gradient maps in rainbows and tsunamis; *The Laplace operator in oriental magic mirrors; *Elliptic integrals in the polarization pattern of the clear blue sky; *Geometry of twists and turns in quantum indistinguishability; *Matrix degeneracies in overhead-projector transparencies; *Gauss sums in the light beyond a humble diffraction grating.
 
 Name:  Dr. Hans A. Bethe
 Institution:  Cornell University
 Year Elected:  1947
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1906
 Death Date:  March 6, 2005
   
 Name:  Dr. Robert J. Birgeneau
 Institution:  University of California, Berkeley
 Year Elected:  2006
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1942
   
 
Robert J. Birgeneau became the ninth chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley, on September 22, 2004. An internationally distinguished physicist, he is a leader in higher education and is well known for his commitment to diversity and equity in the academic community. He stepped down from the Chancellorship in May 2013 and returned to the faculty in the Department of Physics at Berkeley. Before coming to Berkeley, Birgeneau served four years as president of the University of Toronto. He previously was Dean of the School of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he spent 25 years on the faculty. He is a fellow of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society of London, the American Philosophical Society and other scholarly societies. He has received many awards for teaching and research and is one of the most cited physicists in the world for his work on the fundamental properties of materials. In 2006, Birgeneau received a special Founders Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences along with President John Hennessy of Stanford University and filmmaker George Lucas. Established in the 225th anniversary year of the Academy, this award honors men, women and institutions that have advanced the ideals and embody the spirit of the Academy founders - a commitment to intellectual inquiry, leadership and active engagement. In 2008, Birgeneau and President Nancy Kantor of Syracuse University received the 2008 Carnegie Corporation Academic Leadership Award as "Champions of Excellence and Equity in Education." The American Institute of Physics awarded him the Karl Taylor Compton Medal for Leadership in Physics in 2012. In 2015 he was honored with the 2015 Darius and Susan Anderson Distinguished Service Award of the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. In 2016 he was chosen as the National Science Board's Vannevar Bush Awardee. A Toronto native, Birgeneau received his B.Sc. in mathematics from the University of Toronto in 1963 and his Ph.D. in physics from Yale University in 1966. He served on the faculty of Yale for one year, spent one year at Oxford University, and was a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories from 1968 to 1975. He joined the physics faculty at MIT in 1975 and was named Chair of the Physics Department in 1988 and Dean of Science in 1991. He became the 14th president of the University of Toronto on July 1, 2000. He and his wife, Mary Catherine, have four grown children and eight grandchildren.
 
 Name:  Dr. Nicolaas Bloembergen
 Institution:  Harvard University
 Year Elected:  1982
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1920
 Death Date:  September 5, 2017
   
 
Nicolaas Bloembergen was born in Dordrecht, the Netherlands, in 1920. He obtained his Phil. Cand. and Phil. Drs. Degrees in physics at the University of Utrecht. In 1946 he came to the United States and worked with Professor E.M. Purcell at Harvard on Nuclear Magnetic Relaxation. This was the title of his Ph.D. thesis, submitted at the University of Leiden in 1948, where he was a research fellow in the Kamerkingh Onnes Laboratory. He returned to Harvard University in 1949 as a Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows, became Associate Professor of Applied Physics in 1951, Gordon McKay Professor in 1957, Rumford Professor of Physics in 1974, and Gerhard Gade University Professor in 1981. Since 1990 he has been professor emeritus. He then held an honorary professorship in the Optical Sciences Center at the University of Arizona. His research was concerned with nuclear and electron paramagnetic resonance, microwave masers and nonlinear optics. He had supervised fifty-seven Ph.D. theses, and a similar number of post-doctoral fellows have worked in his laboratory. He was the author or co-author of over three hundred scientific papers published in professional journals and had written two monographs: Nuclear Magnetic Relaxation (republished 1961) and Nonlinear Optics (1965). He was a recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1981, the Lorentz Medal of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences in 1978, and the National Medal of Science in 1974. He also received the Medal of Honor of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the Frederick Ives Medal of the Optical Society of America and the Stuart Ballantine Medal of the Franklin Institute. He was a member of various academies in the United States and abroad. In addition to his service on the faculty of the Arts and Sciences at Harvard University for four decades, he was a visiting professor in Paris, Leiden, Bangalore, Munich, Berkeley, and Pasadena. Furthermore, he had served on numerous advisory committees of U.S. government agencies and of industrial and academic institutions and on several editorial boards of scientific publications. In 1991 he was president of the American Physical Society. Nicolaas Bloembergen died September 5, 2017, in Tucson, Arizona, at the age of 97.
 
 Name:  Dr. Aage Bohr
 Institution:  University of Copenhagen
 Year Elected:  1965
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1922
 Death Date:  September 8, 2009
   
 
Born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1922, Aage Bohr is the son of Margrethe and Niels Bohr. Growing up among physicists like Wolfgang Pauli and Werner Heisenberg, he became a notable nuclear physicist in his own right. In 1946 he became an associate at the Niels Bohr Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Copenhagen, ultimately serving as director of the institute from 1963-70. From 1950 Dr. Bohr worked closely with Ben Mottelson to develop the understanding of nuclear structure. They presented the status of the field in a monograph of two volumes. The first volume, Single-Particle Motion, appeared in 1969, and the second volume, Nuclear Deformations, in 1975. Their efforts on this project and their collaboration on nuclear theory led them to receive the 1975 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Leo James Rainwater, for research on the quantum mechanical description of nucleons orbiting inside a wobbly rotating droplet. Dr. Bohr was also the second recipient of the American Physical Society's Dannie Heinemann Prize for his investigations of the interaction of the nucleus with the electron shell and his contributions to the understanding of nuclear spectroscopy. Author of numerous articles in scientific journals, Dr. Bohr is a man of deep and broad interests. Having lived and worked in Denmark, Sweden, England and the United States, he currently holds an Emeritus position at the University of Copenhagen's Niels Bohr Institute.
 
 Name:  Dr. Lewis M. Branscomb
 Institution:  JFK School of Government, Harvard University
 Year Elected:  1970
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1926
   
 
Lewis M. Branscomb is Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Corporate Management, Emeritus Director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program and a member of the Board of Directors of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. At present, he is also Adjunct Professor at the University of California, San Diego's School of International Relations and Pacific Studies and Distinguished Research Fellow, Institute for Global Conflict and Cooperation, University of California. His AB in physics is from Duke University in 1945, summa cum laude, and his Ph.D. degree in physics from Harvard University in 1950, after which he was Junior Fellow in the Harvard Society of Fellows. A research physicist at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology) from 1951-69, he was Director of NBS from 1969-72. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Science, National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. In 1972 Dr. Branscomb was named vice president and chief scientist of IBM and a member of the Corporate Management Board, serving until his retirement in 1986. He also served as chairman of the National Science Board from 1980-84. Dr. Branscomb is a former director of Mobil Corp. and General Foods Corp. and serves on the Board of Lord Corporation. He is an emeritus trustee of Vanderbilt University, member of the C.S. Draper Laboratory Corporation, and emeritus Trustee of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He is a former Overseer of Harvard University. He has served five presidents in various advisory and executive positions. Dr. Branscomb's awards include the National Science Board's Vannevar Bush Award (2001); the Rockefeller Public Service Award (1957-58); the Gold Medal for Exceptional Service from the U.S. Department of Commerce (1961); the Arthur Bueche Prize of the National Academy of Engineering (1987); and the Okawa Prize in Communications and Informatics (1999). He pioneered the spectroscopy of atomic and molecular negative ions and studied their role in stellar atmospheres and chemical aeronomy. His current research is on early-stage high-tech innovation, innovation policy in China, business development in the field of information technology, the role of science and technology in countering terrorism, and a new policy paradigm for federal support of basic research. His recent books include (with Philip Auerswald, Todd LaPorte and Erwann Michel-Kerjan) Seeds of Disaster, Roots of Response (2006); (with Richard Klausner) Making the Nation Safer: S&T for Countering Terrorism (2002); (with Philip E. Auerswald) "Between Invention and Innovation: An Analysis of the Funding for Early Stage Technology Development" (2003); (with Philip Auerswald, Nicholas Demos and Brian K. Min) "Understanding Private-Sector Decision Making for Early-Stage Technology Development" (2003); (with Philip Auerswald) "Start-Ups and Spin-offs: Collective Entrepreneurship Between Invention and Innovation," in The Emergence of Entrepreneurship Policy: Governance, Start-Ups, and Growth in the Knowledge Economy (2003); (with Philip Auerswald) Taking Technical Risks: How Innovators, Managers and Investors Manage Risk in High Tech Innovation (2001); (with Fumio Kodama and Richard Florida) "Industrializing Knowledge: University-Industry Linkages in Japan and the United States (1999); and (with James Keller) Investing in Innovation: Creating a Research and Innovation Policy that Works (1998).
 
 Name:  Dr. Brian O'Brien
 Year Elected:  1953
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1898
 Death Date:  July 1, 1992
   
 Name:  Dr. Harvey Brooks
 Institution:  Harvard University
 Year Elected:  1961
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1915
 Death Date:  May 28, 2004
   
 Name:  Prof. Hendrik B. G. Casimir
 Institution:  University of Leiden
 Year Elected:  1971
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1909
 Death Date:  May 4, 2000
   
 Name:  Dr. Steven Chu
 Institution:  Stanford University
 Year Elected:  1998
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  106. Physics
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1948
   
 
Steve Chu became Berkeley Lab's sixth director on August 1, 2004 and served in that capacity through 2008, when he was named Secretary of Energy in the incoming Obama Administration. He was confirmed as Secretary on January 20, 2009 and returned to Stanford in 2013 as William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Humanities and Sciences, Professor of Physics, and Professor of Molecular and Cellular Physiology. A Nobel Prize-winning scholar and international expert in atomic physics, laser spectroscopy, biophysics and polymer physics, Dr. Chu oversaw the oldest and most varied of the Department of Energy's multi-program research laboratories, the Berkeley Lab. Berkeley Lad has an annual budget of over $600 million and a workforce of about 4,000. His distinguished career in laboratory research began as a postdoctoral fellow in physics at the University of California's Berkeley campus from 1976-78, during which time he also utilized the facilities of Berkeley Lab. His first career appointment was as a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J. where, from 1978-87, his achievements with laser spectroscopy and quantum physics became widely recognized. During the last four years there, he was Head of the Quantum Electronics Research Department, during which time much of his groundbreaking work in cooling and trapping atoms by laser took place. That work eventually led to the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997, an honor he shared with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji of France and United States colleague William D. Phillips. Their discoveries, focusing on the so-called "optical tweezers" laser trap, were instrumental in the study of fundamental phenomena and in measuring important physical quantities with unprecedented precision. At the time, Dr. Chu was the Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Stanford University, where he remained for 17 years as a highly decorated scientist, teacher and administrator. While at Stanford, he chaired the physics department from 1990-93 and from 1999-2001. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and l'Academica Sinica. He is also a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Korean Academy of Sciences and Technology. Dr. Chu has won dozens of awards in addition to the Nobel Prize, including the Science for Art Prize, the Herbert Broida Prize for Spectroscopy, the Richtmeyer Memorial Prize Lecturer, the King Faisal International Prize for Science, the Arthur Schawlow Prize for Laser Science, and the William Meggers Award for Laser Spectroscopy. He was a Humboldt Senior Scientist and a Guggenheim Fellow. In 2008 he delivered the Hans Bethe Lecture at Cornell University entitled "The World's Energy Problem and What We Can Do About It." Born in St. Louis and raised in New York, Dr. Chu earned an A.B. in mathematics and a B.S. in physics at the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in physics at UC Berkeley. He is author or co-author of more that 200 articles and professional papers, and over two dozen former members of his group are now professors at leading research universities around the world.
 
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