Schwinger, Julian Seymour, 1918-

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Biography

Schwinger was born February 12, 1918 in New York City; AB, Columbia, 1936; Ph.D, Columbia, 1939; received a National Research Council Fellowship and went to UC Berkeley to work with J. Robert Oppenheimer; contributed to the development of the atomic bomb as a staff member at the Metallurgical Laboratory, University of Chicago, 1943; staff member, Radiation Laboratory, MIT, 1943-46; taught at Harvard University, 1945-72; taught at UCLA, 1972-88; awarded the Nobel Prize in physics in 1965 for his contributions in the field of quantum electrodynamics; died July 16, 1994.

Biographical Narrative

Julian Seymour Schwinger (1918-1994), one of the leading physicists of the 20th century, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 with Richard Feynman and Shinichiro Tomonaga for their independent contributions in the field of quantum electrodynamics. Schwinger's theoretical contributions in the late 1940s and early 1950s provoked a revolution in theoretical physics and laid the foundations for progress in ultra-high-energy physics and in probing the ultimate structure of matter.

Schwinger's career spanned 60 years; the first of his nearly 200 scientific papers (and numerous books) was published when he was 17. The physicist Isidor Isaac Rabi guided his transfer from CCNY (College of the City of New York) to Columbia University, where he received his doctorate in physics in 1939. In 1939, Schwinger went to the University of California, Berkeley to work with J. Robert Oppenheimer and began making fundamental contributions to the science of nuclear physics. During World War II, applying himself to microwave problems, he contributed to the improvement of radar as a staff member in the Radiation Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

After the war Schwinger joined the faculty at Harvard University, becoming a full professor in 1947 at age 29. During this period Schwinger began publishing his papers on quantum electrodynamic theory, a refinement of the concept that Paul A.M. Dirac had introduced in 1929. Schwinger shared the first Albert Einstein Prize with the mathematician Kurt Godel in 1951, and received the newly created National Medal of Science from President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Schwinger moved from Harvard to UCLA in 1972 as a professor of physics, was named University Professor in 1980, and attained Emeritus status in 1988.

From the guide to the Julian Seymour Schwinger Papers, 1920-1994, (University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Bryce S. DeWitt Papers 2005-006; 2006-071; 2006-109; 2010-056; 2010-232., 1919, 1946-2006 Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
creatorOf Julian Seymour Schwinger Papers, 1920-1994 University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
referencedIn Jagdish Mehra Collection 1995-003., 1924-2001 Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
referencedIn Jagdish Mehra Collection 1995-003., 1924-2001 Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
referencedIn Jagdish Mehra Collection 1995-003., 1924-2001 Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith DeWitt, Bryce S. (Bryce Seligman), 1923- person
associatedWith Mehra, Jagdish person
associatedWith Mehra, Jagdish person
associatedWith Mehra, Jagdish person
associatedWith University of California, Los Angeles corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Occupation
Physicists--United States--Archival resources
Function

Person

Birth 1918

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