Loeb, Leonard B.

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Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley for 36 years and Professor Emeritus for 20 more.

From the description of Supplement to Autobiography : typescript, 1970 February. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 214932738

Leonard Benedict Loeb (1891-1978), physicist.

From the description of Oral history interview with Leonard B. Loeb, 1962 August 7. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 83622721

Physicist (electrical phenomena, gaseous electronics, atomic and molecular physics). On the physics faculty at University of California at Berkeley from 1923; consultant, United States Naval Ordnance Laboratory, 1945-1955; member, subcommittee on physics, National Research Council, 1928-1938. Died in 1978.

From the description of Student notebooks, 1914-1915. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78201737

Biographical Sketch

Leonard Benedict Loeb was born September 16, 1891 in Zurich, Switzerland. He is the son of the famous German biologist Jacques Loeb and Anne Leonard, a descendent of a colonial American family. His early life was spent in Chicago, Illinois and Berkeley, California, in the stimulating intellectual and social circle of his parents.

Loeb attended the University of California, Berkeley and Columbia University before receiving his B.S. in 1912 in organic chemistry from the University of Chicago. Impressed with the lectures of Robert A. Millikan, in 1913 he switched his attention to physics. In 1916 he received his Ph.D. in physics under Millikan from the University of Chicago. His thesis was on measuring the mobility of gaseous ions in high electrical fields. He had attempted to measure the break-up of the gaseous ions but found that in the fields he measured, they didn't break-up. This observation left so much to be clarified that it began for him a lifetime of research in the field of gaseous electronics.

After working for the U.S. Bureau of Standards for a year, he went overseas in January 1918 with the U.S. Expeditionary Force to work on spark plugs for airplanes. He returned to the United States in 1919 after having worked for a short period in the laboratories of Jean Perrin in Paris and Ernest Rutherford in Manchester.

In 1923 he began two long-lasting associations. He accepted an assistant professorship in the Department of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley and was commissioned in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

By 1929 he was made a full Professor. He took an active part not only in teaching and writing basic texts but, also, in departmental recruiting.

The 1930s were very productive years for Loeb both in his research work and in his publishing. He and his graduate students did original work in the fields of ion and electron mobilities, electron attachment and negative ion formation, recombination, ionization by electron impact and second Townsend coefficients. In 1936 he began what was to become an intensive study of coronas and discovered the streamer spark mechanism.

During the second World War he was assigned by the Navy first to the Naval Proving Ground at Dahlgren, Virginia, to work on armor plate and projectiles, and then to the Degaussing School at San Francisco, California. Despite his absences from the University, the assignments during these years didn't slow his publishing activities, nor did they prevent him from supervising his graduate students.

Upon his return to the University after the war, he resumed his duties as a student advisor and worked to get the Physics Department functioning at a normal level. Interest in gaseous electronics declined in the post war years, but he continued to publish and to attract new graduate students even after his retirement in 1959. In 1964 he became associate editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research and in 1965 published a book on electrical coronas. He died in Monterey, California in 1978.

From the guide to the Leonard Benedict Loeb Papers, 1916-1970, (The Bancroft Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Office of the Director. Records, 1943-1955. American Institute of Physics
referencedIn Archive for the History of Quantum Physics, 1898-1950 (bulk), 1898-1950 American Philosophical Society
referencedIn Kip, Arthur F. Oral history interview with Arthur Frederic Kip, 1982 June 16. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Riggs, Arthur Stanley, 1879-1952. Arthur Stanley Riggs papers, 1929-1952 (bulk 1949-1951). Library of Congress
referencedIn William B. Provine collection of evolutionary biology reprints, 20th century. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
creatorOf Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-. Leonard B. Loeb papers : additions, 1928-1977. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-. Leonard Benedict Loeb papers, 1916-1970. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-. Student notebooks, 1914-1915. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974. Papers, ca. 1920-1974. American Philosophical Society Library
referencedIn Niels Bohr Library. The Emilio Segrè visual archives, K-O, [ca. 1870]-9999. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Edward U. Condon Papers, Circa 1920-1974 American Philosophical Society
creatorOf Leonard Benedict Loeb Papers, 1916-1970 Bancroft Library
creatorOf Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-. Oral history interview with Leonard B. Loeb, 1962 August 7. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-. Supplement to Autobiography : typescript, 1970 February. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Michelson, Albert A. (Albert Abraham), 1852-1931. Addition to papers. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-. Autobiography of Leonard B. Loeb, typescript. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf Gaseous Electronics Conference [Brookhaven National Laboratory], 1948. Abstracts of the first Gaseous Electronics Conference, 1948. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Arthur Stanley Riggs Papers, 1929-1952, (bulk 1949-1951) Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
creatorOf Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Office of the Director. Records, 1943-1955. University of California, San Diego, UC San Diego Library; UCSD Library
creatorOf Loeb, Leonard B. (Leonard Benedict), 1891-. Autobiography, 1962. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Evans, Robley Dunglison, 1907-. Oral history interview with Robley D. Evans, 1972 May 2 to 14 June 1978. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Niels Bohr Library. History of physics manuscript biography collection I-L, 1901-1989, [ca. ca. 1960]-1989 (bulk) Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Stanford University Press archival book copies, 1900-2012 Cecil H. Green Library. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
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associatedWith Abraham, Max, 1875-1922 person
associatedWith Académie des sciences (France) corporateBody
associatedWith Allison, Samuel King, 1900-1965. person
associatedWith Amaldi, Edoardo, 1908-1989 person
associatedWith American Institute of Physics. corporateBody
associatedWith American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Physical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith American Physical Society and American Philosophical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Andrade, E. N. da C., (Edward Neville da Costa), 1887-1971 person
associatedWith Back, Ernst, 1881-1959 person
associatedWith Bauer, Edmond, 1880-1963 person
associatedWith Becquerel, Jean, 1878-1953 person
associatedWith Benedicks, Carl Axel Fredrik, 1875-1953 person
associatedWith Berliner, Arnold, 1862-1942 person
associatedWith Birge, Raymond T. (Raymond Thayer), b. 1887. person
associatedWith Bohr, Niels Henrik David, 1885-1962 person
associatedWith Born, Max, 1882-1970 person
associatedWith Bragg, William Henry, Sir, 1862-1942. person
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associatedWith Broglie, Louis de, 1892-1987 person
associatedWith Cockcroft, John, Sir, 1897-1967 person
associatedWith Columbia University corporateBody
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associatedWith Condon, Edward Uhler, 1902-1974. person
associatedWith Coster, Dirk, 1889-1950 person
associatedWith Curie, Marie, 1867-1934. person
associatedWith Darwin, Charles Galton, Sir, 1887-1962 person
associatedWith Debye, Peter J. W. (Peter Josef William), 1884-1966. person
associatedWith Dieke, Gerhard Heinrich, 1901-1965 person
associatedWith Dirac, P. A. M., (Paul Adrien Maurice), 1902-1984 person
associatedWith Eddington, Arthur Stanley, Sir, 1882-1944 person
associatedWith Ehrenfest, Paul, 1880-1933. person
associatedWith Einstein, Albert, 1879-1955. person
associatedWith Evans, Robley Dunglison, 1907- person
associatedWith Fermi, Enrico, 1901-1954 person
associatedWith Fokker, A. D., (Adriaan Daniel), 1887-1972 person
associatedWith Fowler, A., (Alfred), 1868-1940 person
associatedWith Franck, James, 1882-1964. person
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associatedWith Goudsmit, Samuel Abraham, 1902-1978 person
associatedWith Haber, Fritz, 1868-1934 person
associatedWith Heisenberg, Werner, 1901-1976 person
associatedWith Hilbert, David, 1862-1943 person
associatedWith Hughes, Arthur Llewelyn, 1883-1978. person
associatedWith Hunt, Frederick V. person
associatedWith Joliot-Curie, Frédéric person
associatedWith Jordan, Pascual, 1902-1980 person
associatedWith Kamerlingh Onnes, Heike, 1853-1926 person
associatedWith Kapitsa, P. L., (Petr Leonidovich), 1894-1984 person
associatedWith Kayser, H., (Heinrich), 1853-1940 person
associatedWith Kemble, Edwin C., (Edwin Crawford), 1889-1984 person
associatedWith Kip, Arthur F. person
associatedWith Klein, Oskar, 1894-1977 person
associatedWith Kramers, Hendrik Anthony, 1894-1952 person
associatedWith Kuhn, Thomas S., person
associatedWith Ladenburg, Rudolf Walter, 1882-1952 person
associatedWith Langevin, Paul, 1872-1946. person
associatedWith Langmuir, Irving, 1881-1957. person
associatedWith Laue, Max von, 1879-1960 person
associatedWith London, Fritz, 1900-1954 person
associatedWith Lorentz, H. A. (Hendrik Antoon), 1853-1928. person
associatedWith McLennan, J. C., (John Cunningham), 1867-1935 person
associatedWith Meitner, Lise, 1878-1968 person
associatedWith Michelson, Albert A. (Albert Abraham), 1852-1931. person
associatedWith Mie, Gustav, 1868-1957 person
associatedWith Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953. person
associatedWith Mulliken, Robert Sanderson, 1896-1986 person
associatedWith National Science Foundation corporateBody
associatedWith Niels Bohr Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Nishina, Yoshio, 1890-1951 person
associatedWith Online Archive of California. corporateBody
associatedWith Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967 person
associatedWith Paschen, F., (Friedrich), 1865-1947 person
associatedWith Pauling, Linus, 1901-1994 person
associatedWith Pauli, Wolfgang, 1900-1958 person
associatedWith Perrin, Jean, 1870-1942. person
associatedWith Planck, Max, 1858-1947. person
correspondedWith Provine, William B. person
correspondedWith Riggs, Arthur Stanley, 1879-1952. person
associatedWith Rosenfeld, L., (Leon), 1904-1974 person
associatedWith Rosseland, Svein, 1894-1985 person
associatedWith Rubens, Heinrich, 1865-1922 person
associatedWith Runge, Carl, 1856-1927 person
associatedWith Rutherford, Ernest, 1871-1937. person
associatedWith Scheel, Karl, 1866-1936 person
associatedWith Schrödinger, Erwin, 1887-1961 person
associatedWith Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Office of the Director. corporateBody
associatedWith Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Office of the Director. corporateBody
associatedWith Solvay Conference on Physics (1911) corporateBody
associatedWith Sommerfeld, Arnold, 1868-1951 person
associatedWith Stanford University. Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Stark, Johannes, 1874-1957 person
associatedWith Tate, John T. (John Torrence), 1889-1950. person
associatedWith Thomson, J. J., Sir, (Joseph John), 1856-1940 person
associatedWith Uhlenbeck, George Eugène, 1900-1988 person
associatedWith United States. Navy. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley. Dept of Physics. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Physics corporateBody
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Physics. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Physics. corporateBody
associatedWith University of California, Berkeley. Dept. of Physics. corporateBody
associatedWith University of Chicago corporateBody
associatedWith Urey, Harold Clayton, 1893-1981. person
associatedWith Van Vleck, J. H., (John Hasbrouck), 1899-1980 person
associatedWith Voigt, Woldemar, 1850-1919 person
associatedWith Von Neumann, John, 1903-1957 person
associatedWith Warburg, Emil Gabriel, 1846-1931 person
associatedWith Weisskopf, Victor Frederick, 1908-2002 person
associatedWith Zeeman, Pieter, 1865-1943 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
California
California--Berkeley
Subject
Thermodynamics
Physics--Study and teaching
Physicists--Biography
Radiation
Quantum theory
Physics
Wave theory of light
World War, 1914-1918--Science
Physicists
Nuclear physics
Atomic theory
Electromagnetic theory
Authorship
Physicists--Travel
Physics--Graduate students
Science--History
Physics--Expertising
Physics--Research
Bilingualism
Physics--Congresses
Mechanics
Electricity
Wave-motion, Theory of
Lectures and lecturing
Physical optics
Magnetism
Electrons
Occupation
Physicists
Physicists--Interviews
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Birth 1891

Death 1978

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