Polykarp Kusch

Polykarp Kusch (January 26, 1911 – March 20, 1993) 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. (The other 1955 physics laureate was Willis Eugene Lamb, who won for his work on the spectrum of hydrogen.)

Kusch received his bachelor's degree in physics in 1931 from Case Western Reserve University. From the University of Illinois, he received his master's degree in 1933 and his Ph.D. in 1936.[1] He spent much of his career as a professor at Columbia University in New York City, and served as the university's provost for several years before departing for the newly created University of Texas at Dallas. He worked on molecular beam resonance studies under I. I. Rabi, then discovered the electron anomalous magnet moment. Many measurements of magnetic moments and hyperfine structure followed. He expanded into chemical physics and continued to publish research on molecular beams. During his tenure at Columbia, he was the doctoral supervisor for Gordon Gould, the inventor of the laser.

Kusch House, a residential dormitory for undergraduate students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio on the South Campus is named after Kusch. It is located on Carlton Road in Cleveland Heights. His widow Betty died in 2003, aged 77.

Polykarp Kusch
Polykarp Kusch
BornJanuary 26, 1911
Blankenburg, District of Blankenburg, Duchy of Brunswick, German Empire
DiedMarch 20, 1993 (aged 82)
Dallas, Texas, United States
Alma materUniversity of Illinois, Case Western Reserve University
Known forMeasured the magnetic moment of the electron
AwardsNobel Prize in Physics (1955)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Texas at Dallas
Columbia University
ThesisThe molecular spectra of caesium and rubidium (1936)
Doctoral advisorFrancis Wheeler Loomis
Doctoral studentsEugene D. Commins
Other notable studentsGordon Gould


  • Rabi, I. I.; Zacharias, J. R.; Millman, S.; Kusch, P. (1938). "A New Method of Measuring Nuclear Magnetic Moment". Physical Review. 53: 318. Bibcode:1938PhRv...53..318R. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.53.318.
  • Rabi, I. I.; Millman, S.; Kusch, P.; Zacharias, J. R. (1939). "The Molecular Beam Resonance Method for Measuring Nuclear Magnetic Moments. The Magnetic Moments of 3Li6, 3Li7 and 9F19". Physical Review. 55: 526–535. Bibcode:1939PhRv...55..526R. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.55.526.
  • Rabi, I. I.; Zacharias, J. R.; Millman, S.; Kusch, P. (1992). "Milestones in Magnetic Resonance: 'A new method of measuring nuclear magnetic moment'. 1938". Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging. 2 (2): 131–133. doi:10.1002/jmri.1880020203. PMID 1562763.
  • Kusch, P.; Foley, H. M. (1948). "The Magnetic Moment of the Electron". Physical Review. 74: 250. Bibcode:1948PhRv...74..250R. doi:10.1103/PhysRev.74.250.

See also


  1. ^ Kusch, Polykarp (1936). The molecular spectra of caesium and rubidium (Ph.D.). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. OCLC 46615308 – via ProQuest. (Subscription required (help)). Cite uses deprecated parameter |subscription= (help)

External links


1911 (MCMXI)

was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar, the 1911th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 911th year of the 2nd millennium, the 11th year of the 20th century, and the 2nd year of the 1910s decade. As of the start of 1911, the Gregorian calendar was

13 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.

A highlight was the race for the South Pole.

1911 in science

The year 1911 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.

1955 in science

The year 1955 in science and technology included many events, some of which are listed below.

Columbia University Physics Department

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.

This research is conducted in Pupin Hall and the Shapiro Center for Engineering and Physical Sciences Research (CEPSR), both on the university's Morningside Heights campus, Nevis Labs upstate, and at a number of other affiliated institutions. The department is connected with research conducted at Brookhaven National Laboratories and at CERN.

Columbia has approximately 20 undergraduate physics majors and is home to about 100 graduate students.

Electron magnetic moment

In atomic physics, the electron magnetic moment, or more specifically the electron magnetic dipole moment, is the magnetic moment of an electron caused by its intrinsic properties of spin and electric charge. The value of the electron magnetic moment is approximately −9.284764×10−24 J/T. The electron magnetic moment has been measured to an accuracy of 7.6 parts in 1013.

Eugene D. Commins

Eugene David Commins (July 1, 1932 – September 26, 2015) was a professor of physics at University of California, Berkeley. He was named a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1987. He was also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Francis Wheeler Loomis

Francis Wheeler Loomis (August 4, 1889 – February 9, 1976), born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, was an American scientist most widely known for his contributions in the field of physics. Loomis received his undergraduate degree and, in 1917, his PhD from Harvard University. His thesis was on thermodynamic measurements of mercury.Loomis was a Guggenheim Fellow in 1928 studying abroad at Zürich and Göttingen. In 1929, Loomis came to the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign to become the head of the Department of Physics, a position he would retain until 1957. Loomis was challenged in bringing top-notch physics talent to a university in the rural Midwest. When approached by Loomis to join his staff, Isidor Isaac Rabi stated bluntly "I love subways and I hate cows." While building the department, Loomis attracted two-time Nobel recipient John Bardeen to join the staff, and had 1955 Nobel Prize winner Polykarp Kusch as a graduate student. Loomis was elected president of the American Physical Society and a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1949.In World War I, Loomis served at the Aberdeen proving ground, where he was an Army Ordnance captain. During World War II, he was the associate head of the MIT Radiation Laboratory supporting the national defense and served a two-year period as the organizer of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The interruption of the war also required Loomis to restart his building of the physics department as two-thirds of the faculty he added in the 1930s moved elsewhere due to the many defense projects related to the war. Loomis founded the Control Systems Laboratory as a research center for national defense purposes during the Korean War. After the war ended and the work done there became unclassified, the facility was renamed the Coordinated Science Laboratory.At the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign the main physics building was renamed the Loomis Laboratory of Physics posthumously in his honor.

Frederick Kantor

Frederick Kantor is an American physicist. He is known for his early work on digital physics, originally coined by Kantor as information mechanics which described "previously thought dissimilar phenomena, such as the fine structure constant (on the

scale of the very small) and cosmological red shift (on the scale of the very large)".Greg Bear cited Kantor's Information Mechanics as an inspiration for his 1990 novel Heads. A Reddit editor named delverofsecrets created an Internet hoax involving an apparently chance meeting of Kantor and hundreds of Reddit followers at 6½ Avenue in Manhattan on July 12, 2012; the crowd was eventually dispersed by the New York Police Department.

Gamma Alpha

The Gamma Alpha Graduate Scientific Society (ΓΑ) is a non-profit fraternal organization (501(c)(7)) in the United States which fosters interdisciplinary dialogue among graduate students through its local chapters. The Society's chapters have often been headquartered in chapter houses, akin to residential cooperatives, though there have been many chapters which lacked a chapter house. Where established, chapter houses have served as venues for the academic talks hosted by the Society. More informally, the shared living space of the Society's houses has provided its members with a forum for a regular exchange of ideas across disciplines—over breakfast or dinner, for example, or a game of chess.

Henry M. Foley

Henry Michael Foley (1917–1982) was an American

experimental physicist.

He was a professor and a leading physicist at Columbia University, later serving as chairman of the physics department. In 1948, Polykarp Kusch, working with Henry Foley, discovered the anomalous magnetic dipole moment of the electron. He served on the JASON Defense Advisory Group, an independent group of scientists which advises the United States Government on matters of science and technology. He also served on the MX Missile Basing advisory panel.

Isidor Isaac Rabi

Isidor Isaac Rabi (; born Israel Isaac Rabi, 29 July 1898 – 11 January 1988) was an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1944 for his discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance, which is used in magnetic resonance imaging. He was also one of the first scientists in the United States to work on the cavity magnetron, which is used in microwave radar and microwave ovens.

Born into a traditional Jewish family in Rymanów, Galicia, in what was then part of Austria-Hungary, Rabi came to the United States as a baby and was raised in New York's Lower East Side. He entered Cornell University as an electrical engineering student in 1916, but soon switched to chemistry. Later, he became interested in physics. He continued his studies at Columbia University, where he was awarded his doctorate for a thesis on the magnetic susceptibility of certain crystals. In 1927, he headed for Europe, where he met and worked with many of the finest physicists of the time.

In 1929, Rabi returned to the United States, where Columbia offered him a faculty position. In collaboration with Gregory Breit, he developed the Breit–Rabi equation and predicted that the Stern–Gerlach experiment could be modified to confirm the properties of the atomic nucleus. His techniques for using nuclear magnetic resonance to discern the magnetic moment and nuclear spin of atoms earned him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1944. Nuclear magnetic resonance became an important tool for nuclear physics and chemistry, and the subsequent development of magnetic resonance imaging from it has also made it important to the field of medicine.

During World War II he worked on radar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Radiation Laboratory (RadLab) and on the Manhattan Project. After the war, he served on the General Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Atomic Energy Commission, and was chairman from 1952 to 1956. He also served on the Science Advisory Committees (SACs) of the Office of Defense Mobilization and the Army's Ballistic Research Laboratory, and was Science Advisor to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was involved with the establishment of the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1946, and later, as United States delegate to UNESCO, with the creation of CERN in 1952. When Columbia created the rank of University Professor in 1964, Rabi was the first to receive that position. A special chair was named after him in 1985. He retired from teaching in 1967 but remained active in the department and held the title of University Professor Emeritus and Special Lecturer until his death.

January 26

January 26 is the 26th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 339 days remain until the end of the year (340 in leap years).


Kusch is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include:

Frank Kusch (born 1959), American historian

Garret Kusch (born 1973), Canadian soccer player

Martin Kusch (born 1959), German philosopher

Polykarp Kusch (1911–1993), German-American physicist

Uli Kusch (born 1967), German drummer

Walter Kusch (born 1954), German swimmer

List of German physicists

This is a list of German physicists.

List of Nobel laureates affiliated with Kyoto University

The Nobel Prizes are awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Karolinska Institute, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. As of 2018, 18 Nobel laureates have been associated with Kyoto University (KU), it has the most Nobel laureates of all universities in Asia.

List of members of the National Academy of Sciences (Physics)

This list is a subsection of the List of members of the National Academy of Sciences, which includes approximately 2,000 members and 350 foreign associates of the United States National Academy of Sciences, each of whom is affiliated with one of 31 disciplinary sections. Each person's name, primary institution, and election year are given.

March 20

March 20 is the 79th day of the year (80th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 286 days remain until the end of the year. Typically the March equinox falls on this date, marking the vernal point in the Northern Hemisphere and the autumnal point in the Southern Hemisphere.

Paul B. Kantor

Paul B. Kantor is an American information scientist. He is Distinguished Professor of Information Science at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Willis Lamb

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.


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