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

Alternative names
Birth 1900-12-22
Death 1976-07-25

Biographical notes:

John Clarke Slater was a physicist. He graduated from Harvard (Ph. D. 1923) and continued his studies at Cambridge University. He also studied in Copenhagen for six months under Niels Bohr, with whom Slater worked again in 1929 on the quantum theory. He returned to the United States in 1930 to become head of the department of physics at M.I.T., where he worked with Karl Compton to transform the study of physics there.

From the description of Papers, 1908-1976. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 154298118

Physicist (solid state physics). On the physics faculty at Harvard University, 1924-1930; Massachusetts Institute of Technology: faculty and department chair, 1930-1966; staff member of the Radiation Laboratory, 1940-1945; on the physics and chemistry faculty at the University of Florida from 1964.

From the description of Correspondence and autobiographical account of the history of writing of the Bohr-Kramer-Slater paper in 1924, 1968. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78159141

From the description of History of the M.I.T. Physics Department, 1930-1948. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 84447550

John Clarke Slater was a physicist.

From the description of Excerpts from letters, 1924. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 154298264

From the guide to the John Clarke Slater, excerpts from letters, 1924, 1924, (American Philosophical Society)

John Clarke Slater, 1900-1976, AB 1920, University of Rochester; AM 1922, PhD 1923, Harvard University, taught physics at Harvard from 1924 to 1930. In 1930 Slater came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as head of the Department of Physics at the invitation of Karl Compton soon after the latter assumed the presidency of MIT in 1930. Working with President Compton, Professor Slater played a prominent part in expanding and strengthening science curriculum and research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1951 Slater was named Institute Professor, the first faculty member to hold that title. In 1966 he retired as Institute Professor emeritus and continued to be active professionally at both MIT and the University of Florida.

From 1940 to 1945 John Slater was a staff member of the government's radar research Radiation Laboratory housed on the MIT campus, and leader of Group 43, Theoretical Group. At MIT after the war he helped in the transformation of the Radiation Laboratory into the Research Laboratory of Electronics and helped to establish the Laboratory for Nuclear Science. His research focused on atomic and solid state physics, in which he made fundamental contributions to the science underlying the transistor.

From the guide to the Typescript of "A Physicist of the Lucky Generation, " by John C. Slater, circa 1975, (Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections)


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  • Quantum theory
  • Physicists
  • Magnetrons
  • Spectrum analysis
  • Science--History
  • Quantum electrodynamics
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology--History
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology--Faculty
  • Physics--History
  • Atomic theory
  • Acoustics
  • Solid state physics
  • Nuclear energy--Research--Laboratories
  • Physics
  • Physics--Study and teaching
  • Physics--Experiments
  • Nuclear physics
  • Physics--History--20th century
  • Theoretical physics
  • Solid state physics--History
  • Molecular theory


  • Physicists


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