Lamb in 1955
Willis Eugene Lamb Jr.
July 12, 1913
|Died||May 15, 2008 94) (aged|
|Alma mater||University of California, Berkeley|
|Known for|| Lamb shift |
|Awards||Nobel Prize in Physics (1955)|
|Institutions|| University of Arizona |
University of Oxford
|Doctoral advisor||J. Robert Oppenheimer|
|Doctoral students|| Bernard Feld (1945)|
Robert Retherford (1947)
Norman Kroll (1948)
Theodore Maiman (1955)
Marlan Scully (1966)
Balázs László Győrffy (1966)
Willis Eugene Lamb Jr. ( // ; July 12, 1913 – May 15, 2008) was an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1955 "for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum." The Nobel Committee that year awarded half the prize to Lamb and the other half to Polykarp Kusch, who won "for his precision determination of the magnetic moment of the electron." Lamb was able to determine precisely a surprising shift in electron energies in a hydrogen atom (see Lamb shift). Lamb was a professor at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences.
A physicist is a scientist who specializes in the field of physics, which encompasses the interactions of matter and energy at all length and time scales in the physical universe. Physicists generally are interested in the root or ultimate causes of phenomena, and usually frame their understanding in mathematical terms. Physicists work across a wide range of research fields, spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic and particle physics, through biological physics, to cosmological length scales encompassing the universe as a whole. The field generally includes two types of physicists: experimental physicists who specialize in the observation of physical phenomena and the analysis of experiments, and theoretical physicists who specialize in mathematical modeling of physical systems to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena. Physicists can apply their knowledge towards solving practical problems or to developing new technologies.
The Nobel Prize in Physics is a yearly award given by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for those who have made the most outstanding contributions for humankind in the field of physics. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901; the others being the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Polykarp Kusch was a German-born American physicist. In 1955, the Nobel Committee gave a divided Nobel Prize for Physics, with one half to going to Kusch for his accurate determination that the magnetic moment of the electron was greater than its theoretical value, thus leading to reconsideration of—and innovations in—quantum electrodynamics.
Lamb was born in Los Angeles, California, United States and attended Los Angeles High School. First admitted in 1930, he received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1934. For theoretical work on scattering of neutrons by a crystal, guided by J. Robert Oppenheimer, he received the Ph.D. in physics in 1938.Because of limited computational methods available at the time, this research narrowly missed revealing the Mössbauer Effect, 19 years before its recognition by Mössbauer. He worked on nuclear theory, laser physics, and verifying quantum mechanics.
California is a state in the Pacific Region of the United States. With 39.6 million residents, California is the most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area. The state capital is Sacramento. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation's second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 9.7 million residents respectively. Los Angeles is California's most populous city, and the country's second-most populous, after New York City. California also has the nation's most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The City and County of San Francisco is both the country's second-most densely populated major city after New York City and the fifth-most densely populated county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Los Angeles High School is the oldest public high school in the Southern California Region and in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Its colors are royal blue and white and the teams are called the Romans.
Lamb was the Wykeham Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford from 1956 to 1962, and also taught at Yale, Columbia, Stanford and the University of Arizona. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1963.
The University of Oxford has three statutory professorships named after William of Wykeham, who founded New College.
The University of Oxford is a collegiate research university in Oxford, England. There is evidence of teaching as early as 1096, making it the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's second-oldest university in continuous operation. It grew rapidly from 1167 when Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris. After disputes between students and Oxford townsfolk in 1209, some academics fled north-east to Cambridge where they established what became the University of Cambridge. The two 'ancient universities' are frequently jointly called 'Oxbridge'. The history and influence of the University of Oxford has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world.
Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. Established in 1754, Columbia is the oldest institution of higher education in New York and the fifth-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. It is one of nine colonial colleges founded prior to the Declaration of Independence, seven of which belong to the Ivy League. It has been ranked by numerous major education publications as among the top ten universities in the world.
Lamb is remembered as a "rare theorist turned experimentalist" by D. Kaiser.
In addition to his crucial and famous contribution to quantum electrodynamics via the Lamb shift, in the latter part of his career he paid increasing attention to the field of quantum measurements.In one of his writings Lamb stated that "most people who use quantum mechanics have little need to know much about the interpretation of the subject." Lamb was also openly critical of many of the interpretational trends on quantum mechanics.
In particle physics, quantum electrodynamics (QED) is the relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics. In essence, it describes how light and matter interact and is the first theory where full agreement between quantum mechanics and special relativity is achieved. QED mathematically describes all phenomena involving electrically charged particles interacting by means of exchange of photons and represents the quantum counterpart of classical electromagnetism giving a complete account of matter and light interaction.
In physics, the Lamb shift, named after Willis Lamb, is a difference in energy between two energy levels 2S1/2 and 2P1/2 of the hydrogen atom which was not predicted by the Dirac equation, according to which these states should have the same energy.
The framework of quantum mechanics requires a careful definition of measurement. The issue of measurement lies at the heart of the problem of the interpretation of quantum mechanics, for which there is currently no consensus. The question of how the operational process measurement affects the ontological state of the observed system is unresolved, and called the measurement problem.
In 1939 Lamb married his first wife, Ursula Schaefer, a German student, who became a distinguished historian of Latin America.After her death in 1996 he married physicist Bruria Kaufman in 1996, whom he later divorced. In 2008 he married Elsie Wattson.
Bruria Kaufman was an American theoretical physicist. She is known for contributions to Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, to statistical physics, where she used applied spinor analysis to rederive the result of Lars Onsager on the partition function of the two-dimensional Ising Model, and to the study of the Mössbauer effect, on which she collaborated with John von Neumann and Harry Lipkin.
Lamb died on May 15, 2008, at the age of 94,due to complications of a gallstone disorder.
Laser science or laser physics is a branch of optics that describes the theory and practice of lasers.
Quantum mechanics, including quantum field theory, is a fundamental theory in physics which describes nature at the smallest scales of energy levels of atoms and subatomic particles.
John Stewart Bell FRS was an Ulster Scot physicist from Northern Ireland, and the originator of Bell's theorem, an important theorem in quantum physics regarding hidden variable theories.
Rainer "Rai" Weiss is an American physicist, known for his contributions in gravitational physics and astrophysics. He is a professor of physics emeritus at MIT and an adjunct professor at LSU. He is best known for inventing the laser interferometric technique which is the basic operation of LIGO. He was Chair of the COBE Science Working Group.
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.
Quantum optics (QO) is a field of research that uses semi-classical and quantum-mechanical physics to investigate phenomena involving light and its interactions with matter at submicroscopic levels. In other words it is quantum mechanics applied to photons or light.
Gérard Albert Mourou is a French scientist and pioneer in the field of electrical engineering and lasers. He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018, along with Donna Strickland, for the invention of chirped pulse amplification, a technique later used to create ultrashort-pulse, very high-intensity (petawatt) laser pulses.
Roy Jay Glauber was an American theoretical physicist. He was the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University and Adjunct Professor of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona. Born in New York City, he was awarded one half of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence", with the other half shared by John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hänsch. In this work, published in 1963, he created a model for photodetection and explained the fundamental characteristics of different types of light, such as laser light and light from light bulbs. His theories are widely used in the field of quantum optics. In statistical physics he pioneered the study of the dynamics of first-order phase transitions, since he first defined and investigated the stochastic dynamics of a Ising model in a largely influential paper published in 1963. He served on the National Advisory Board of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, the research arms of Council for a Livable World.
Theodor Wolfgang Hänsch is a German physicist. He received one fourth of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics for "contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique", sharing the prize with John L. Hall and Roy J. Glauber.
The first Shelter Island Conference on the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics was held from June 2–4, 1947 at the Ram's Head Inn in Shelter Island, New York. Shelter Island was the first major opportunity since Pearl Harbor and the Manhattan Project for the leaders of the American physics community to gather after the war. As Julian Schwinger would later recall, "It was the first time that people who had all this physics pent up in them for five years could talk to each other without somebody peering over their shoulders and saying, 'Is this cleared?'"
Marlan Orvil Scully is an American physicist best known for his work in theoretical quantum optics. He is a professor at Texas A&M University and Princeton University. Additionally, in 2012 he developed a lab at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative in Waco, Texas.
Yakir Aharonov is an Israeli physicist specializing in quantum physics. He is a Professor of Theoretical Physics and the James J. Farley Professor of Natural Philosophy at Chapman University in California. He is also a distinguished professor in the Perimeter Institute and a professor emeritus at Tel Aviv University in Israel. He is president of the IYAR, The Israeli Institute for Advanced Research.
The Columbia University Physics Department includes approximately 40 faculty members teaching and conducting research in the areas of astrophysics, high energy nuclear physics, high energy particle physics, atomic-molecular-optical physics, condensed matter physics, and theoretical physics.
William Vermillion Houston was an American physicist who made contributions to spectroscopy, quantum mechanics, and solid-state physics as well as being a teacher and administrator. He became the second president of Rice University in 1946.
David Jeffrey Wineland is an American Nobel-laureate physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) physics laboratory. His work has included advances in optics, specifically laser cooling trapped ions and using ions for quantum computing operations. He was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics, jointly with Serge Haroche, for "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems".
James Power Gordon was an American physicist known for his work in the fields of optics and quantum electronics. His contributions include the design, analysis and construction of the first maser in 1954 as a doctoral student at Columbia University under the supervision of C. H. Townes, development of the quantal equivalent of Shannon's information capacity formula in 1962, development of the theory for the diffusion of atoms in an optical trap in 1980, and the discovery of what is now known as the Gordon-Haus effect in soliton transmission, together with H. A. Haus in 1986. James P. Gordon was a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Science.
Nicolaas 'Nico' Godfried van Kampen was a Dutch theoretical physicist, who worked mainly on statistical mechanics and non-equilibrium thermodynamics.
The Einstein Prize for Laser Science was a recognition awarded by the former Society for Optical and Quantum Electronics and sponsored by the Eastman Kodak Company. The prize, awarded in the 1988–1999 period, consisted of a 3-inch brass medal including Einstein's image and a depiction of a two-level transition including the A and B coefficients. Recipients of the prize include:
Wolfgang P. Schleich is professor of theoretical physics and director of the quantum physics department at the University of Ulm.
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