Debye, Peter J. W. (Peter Josef William), 1884-1966

Alternative names
Birth 1884-03-24
Death 1966-11-02

Biographical notes:

Physical chemist (molecular structure, quantum theory, magnetism, polymers). On the physics faculty at Georg-August Universität zu Göttingen, 1913-1920; on the staff at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich, 1910-1927; on the faculty at Universität Leipzig, 1927-1934; director, Kaiser-Wilhelm Institut für Physik, 1935-1939; and professor and chair of the chemistry department, Cornell University from 1940. Died 1966.

From the description of Holograph student notes, 1901, and lectures given at the Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht, 1912, and Universität Göttingen, 1914-1915, 1901-1915. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 82391787

Chemist; professor of chemistry, Cornell University; Nobel Laureate in chemistry.

From the description of Peter J. W. Debye papers, [ca.1959]-1966. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 154303223

Physical chemist. Died 1966.

From the description of Oral history interview with Peter J. W. Debye, 1962 May 3 and 4. (American Institute of Physics). WorldCat record id: 78642348

Debye (1884-1966) physical chemist (molecular structure, quantum theory, magnetism, polymers). 1911 Associate professor for Theoretical Physics, Electrotechnical College Zürich, 1912 Professor of Theoretical Physics Utrecht, 1914 Professor Theoretical, later Practical Physics, Göttingen, 1920 Professor of Physics, Electrotechnical College Zurich, 1927 Professor of Experimental Physics, Leipzig; 1934 Professor of Physics, Berlin; 1935-1945 (after end of 1939 on leave); Director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics; 1940-1950 Professor at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1936 for "his contributions to our understanding of molecular structures through his research on dipolar momentum, and his research on the bending of x-rays and research on electrons in gases.

From the description of Papers, 1901-1906 and 1918-1945. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 84274186


From the description of Reminiscences of Peter Joseph William Debye : oral history, 1964. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122513115


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  • Atomic structure
  • Quantum theory
  • Quantum theory--History
  • Solid state physics
  • Group work in research
  • Science--History
  • Magnetism--Study and teaching
  • Atomic theory
  • Complementarity (Physics)
  • Nobel prizes
  • Molecules
  • Wave mechanics
  • Physics
  • Relativity (Physics)
  • Nuclear physics
  • Quantum theory--Study and teaching
  • Molecular structure
  • Physicists--Interviews
  • Physics--History


  • College teachers
  • Chemists
  • Physicists
  • Physicists--Germany
  • Physicists--Interviews


  • Germany (as recorded)