Isidor Isaac Rabi - Columbia University, Birthday and Childhood

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Isidor Isaac Rabi's Personal Details

Isidor Isaac Rabi was a Poland-born American physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1944

InformationDetail
BirthdayJuly 29, 1898
Died onJanuary 11, 1988
NationalityAmerican
FamousColumbia University, Cornell University, Scientists, Physicists
SpousesHelen Newmark
Known asIsrael Isaac Rabi
Childrens Margaret, Nancy
Universities
  • Columbia University,Cornell University
  • Cornell University
  • Columbia University
Notable Alumnis
  • Columbia University
  • Cornell University
Birth PlaceRymanów, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (today Poland)
GenderMale
FatherDavid Rabi
MotherJanet Teig
Sun SignLeo
Born inRymanów, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (today Poland)
Famous asPhysicist
Died at Age89

// Famous Alumni of Cornell University

Isidor Isaac Rabi's photo

Who is Isidor Isaac Rabi?

Isidor Isaac Rabi was a Poland-born American physicist who won the Nobel Prize for Physics for the development of a method by which the magnetic moments, namely the spin and magnetic characteristics of atomic nuclei, could be measured. This measurement technique became a basis for subsequent experiments on atomic beams which lead to the development of a body scanning method used in medical practice known as ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging’ or MRI. The method was also used for experiments on the guidance systems of missiles and satellites. His experiments on ‘Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR)’ became an indispensable tool for chemists while ‘Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)’ became an indispensable tool for physicians. He also proposed the construction of the first atomic clock in history. Isidor was destined to become a tailor like his father had he stayed back in Europe but was able to earn a degree in chemistry after coming to America. He worked for many years in an industrial laboratory after which he joined college to study physics as chemistry did not seem interesting to him. He also studied books on various topics which widened the horizon of his knowledge helping him suggest new ways of carrying out experiments which benefited both chemists and physicists.

// Famous Scientists

Childhood & Early Life

Isidor Isaac Rabi was born Israel Isaac Rabi in Rymanow, Poland, a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, on July 29, 1898. His father was a Jewish tailor named David Rabi and his mother was Janet Teig.

He had a younger sister named Getrude.

His family immigrated to America in 1899 when he was an infant. His family stayed in Lower East side of Manhattan and later in Brownsville, Brooklyn.

After completing elementary school in Brooklyn, where his name was changed to Isidor, he joined ‘Manual Training High School, Brooklyn’.

He got a scholarship and joined the ‘Cornell University’ at Ithaca, New York where he opted for electrical engineering as a major subject but later changed over to chemistry. He graduated with a BS in chemistry from the university in 1919.

Though he decided to pursue a job instead of continuing his study in chemistry he had to study it again at the ‘Cornell University’ in 1922 till 1923 after wasting three years since he could not get a fellowship for studying physics.

He wanted to leave ‘Cornell University’ and wished to join the ‘Harvard University’ in Cambridge but joined ‘Columbia University’ as a graduate student in physics instead.

While casually reading a book ‘Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism’ written by John Clerk Maxwell, he realized that he could develop an easier method of taking measurements with a very simple two-step process where the susceptibilities of the crystal, a solution and water were matched with one another. He submitted his dissertation on July 16, 1926 and was awarded his PhD in 1927.

He was associated with Erwin Schrondinger, Arnold Sommerfield, Wolfgang Pauli and Niels Bohr from 1927 to 1929 during his post-graduate work in Europe. While working with Pauli in Hamburg, Germany, he successfully carried out an experiment on the deflection of beam particles at Otto Stern’s molecular-beam laboratory using a magnetic field configuration presently called the ‘Rabi Field’.

In 1929 while working in Leipzig with Werner Heisenburg Rabi received an offer from the ‘Columbia University’ to join as a lecturer.

Career

Isidor Isaac Rabi started his career as a lecturer in ‘Theoretical Physics’ from 1929 to 1937.

In 1933 Rabi and Victor W. Cohen, his first graduate student, were able to measure the nuclear spin of sodium with their molecular beam apparatus.

In 1936 he carried out the second experiment on proton and deuteron and was able to reduce uncertainty in their magnetic moments drastically.

In 1937 he became a Professor of ‘Theoretical Physics’ at the Columbia University and held the post till 1940.

His third experiment in 1939 reduced the uncertainty to 0.7 percent which was very accurate by all standards.

In 1939 he discovered the nuclear quadrupole moment and the magnetic resonance method for the measurement of magnetic instances of atoms.

He served as the head of the ‘Radiation Laboratory Research Division’ of the ‘Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ in Cambridge, Massachusetts from October 1940 to 1945.

He returned to the Columbia University and served as a Professor of Physics from 1945 to 1957.

He became the President of the ‘American Physical Society’ in 1950.

He served on the ‘General Advisory Committee’ of the US Atomic Energy Commission’ from 1952 to 1956.

He served as the Chairman of the ‘US Atomic Energy Commission’ from 1952 to 1956.

He became a member of ‘Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire’ or ‘CERN’ in 1954.

He served as a ‘Higgins Professor of Physics’ at the Columbia University from 1957 to 1964.

He worked at the ‘Brookhaven National Laboratory’ up to 1967 after founding it in 1947.

He served as a ‘University Professor of Physics’ at the ‘Columbia University’ from 1964 to 1967.

Major Works

Isodor Isaac Rabi’s book ‘The Nuclear Spin of Sodium’ was published in 1933 and ‘The Magnetic Moment of the Proton’ in 1934.

His book ‘On the Process of Space Quantization’ was published in 1936 and ‘A New Method of Measuring Nuclear Magnetic Moment’ was published in 1938.

‘An Electric Quadrupole Moment of the Deuteron: The Radiofrequency Spectra of HD and D2 Molecules in a Magnetic Field’ was published in 1940 and ‘The Hyperfine Structure of Atomic Hydrogen and Deuterium’ was published in 1947.

Awards & Achievements

Isidor Isaac Rabi won the ‘Eliot Cresson Medal’ from the ‘Franklin Institute’ in 1942 and the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1944.

He received the ‘Congressional Order of Merit’ and the ‘King’s Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom’ in 1948.

He was appointed a board member of the ‘Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel’ in 1959.

He won the ‘Niels Bohr Gold Medal’ and the ‘Atoms for Peace Award’ in 1967.

He received the ‘Oersted Medal’ in 1982 and the ‘Vannevar Bush Award’ in 1986.

He was made an ‘Officer of The French Legion of Honor’, fellow of the ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences’, ‘American Philosophical Society’ and the ‘National Academy of Sciences’.

He received honorary D.Sc. from the universities of Harvard, Princeton and Birmingham and was made a foreign member of Japanese and Brazilian Academies.

Personal Life & Legacy

He married Helen Newmark on August 17, 1926 and had two daughters, Nancy and Margaret with her.

Isidor Isaac Rabin died of illness in New York City, New York, USA on January 11, 1988 at the age of 89.

Humanitarian Work

Isidor Isaac Rabi refused to work for the Manhattan Project, believing that the atom bomb was an unnecessary ‘evil’ and became an outspoken opponent of any kind of atomic weapon.

Trivia

Isidor Isaac Rabi had acted as himself in a movie titled ‘The Day After Trinity’ in 1981.

// Famous Physicists

Isidor Isaac Rabi awards

YearNameAward

Other

Medal for Merit (1948)
Barnard Medal (1960)
Atoms for Peace Award (1967)
Oersted Medal (1982)
Public Welfare Medal (1985)
Vannevar Bush Award (1986)
Newcomb Cleveland Prize (1939)
Elliott Cresson Medal (1942)
Nobel Prize in Physics (1944)

Isidor Isaac Rabi biography timelines

  • // 29th Jul 1898
    Isidor Isaac Rabi was born Israel Isaac Rabi in Rymanow, Poland, a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, on July 29, 1898. His father was a Jewish tailor named David Rabi and his mother was Janet Teig.
  • // 1899
    His family immigrated to America in 1899 when he was an infant. His family stayed in Lower East side of Manhattan and later in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
  • // 1919
    He got a scholarship and joined the ‘Cornell University’ at Ithaca, New York where he opted for electrical engineering as a major subject but later changed over to chemistry. He graduated with a BS in chemistry from the university in 1919.
  • // 1922 To 1923
    Though he decided to pursue a job instead of continuing his study in chemistry he had to study it again at the ‘Cornell University’ in 1922 till 1923 after wasting three years since he could not get a fellowship for studying physics.
  • // 16th Jul 1926 To 1927
    While casually reading a book ‘Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism’ written by John Clerk Maxwell, he realized that he could develop an easier method of taking measurements with a very simple two-step process where the susceptibilities of the crystal, a solution and water were matched with one another. He submitted his dissertation on July 16, 1926 and was awarded his PhD in 1927.
  • // 17th Aug 1926
    He married Helen Newmark on August 17, 1926 and had two daughters, Nancy and Margaret with her.
  • // 1927 To 1929
    He was associated with Erwin Schrondinger, Arnold Sommerfield, Wolfgang Pauli and Niels Bohr from 1927 to 1929 during his post-graduate work in Europe. While working with Pauli in Hamburg, Germany, he successfully carried out an experiment on the deflection of beam particles at Otto Stern’s molecular-beam laboratory using a magnetic field configuration presently called the ‘Rabi Field’.
  • // 1929
    In 1929 while working in Leipzig with Werner Heisenburg Rabi received an offer from the ‘Columbia University’ to join as a lecturer.
  • // 1929 To 1937
    Isidor Isaac Rabi started his career as a lecturer in ‘Theoretical Physics’ from 1929 to 1937.
  • // 1933
    In 1933 Rabi and Victor W. Cohen, his first graduate student, were able to measure the nuclear spin of sodium with their molecular beam apparatus.
  • // 1933 To 1934
    Isodor Isaac Rabi’s book ‘The Nuclear Spin of Sodium’ was published in 1933 and ‘The Magnetic Moment of the Proton’ in 1934.
  • // 1936
    In 1936 he carried out the second experiment on proton and deuteron and was able to reduce uncertainty in their magnetic moments drastically.
  • // 1936 To 1938
    His book ‘On the Process of Space Quantization’ was published in 1936 and ‘A New Method of Measuring Nuclear Magnetic Moment’ was published in 1938.
  • // 1937 To 1940
    In 1937 he became a Professor of ‘Theoretical Physics’ at the Columbia University and held the post till 1940.
  • // 1939
    His third experiment in 1939 reduced the uncertainty to 0.7 percent which was very accurate by all standards.
  • // 1939
    In 1939 he discovered the nuclear quadrupole moment and the magnetic resonance method for the measurement of magnetic instances of atoms.
  • // 1940 To 1947
    ‘An Electric Quadrupole Moment of the Deuteron: The Radiofrequency Spectra of HD and D2 Molecules in a Magnetic Field’ was published in 1940 and ‘The Hyperfine Structure of Atomic Hydrogen and Deuterium’ was published in 1947.
  • // Oct 1940 To 1945
    He served as the head of the ‘Radiation Laboratory Research Division’ of the ‘Massachusetts Institute of Technology’ in Cambridge, Massachusetts from October 1940 to 1945.
  • // 1942 To 1944
    Isidor Isaac Rabi won the ‘Eliot Cresson Medal’ from the ‘Franklin Institute’ in 1942 and the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1944.
  • // 1945 To 1957
    He returned to the Columbia University and served as a Professor of Physics from 1945 to 1957.
  • // 1947 To 1967
    He worked at the ‘Brookhaven National Laboratory’ up to 1967 after founding it in 1947.
  • // 1948
    He received the ‘Congressional Order of Merit’ and the ‘King’s Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom’ in 1948.
  • // 1950
    He became the President of the ‘American Physical Society’ in 1950.
  • // 1952 To 1956
    He served on the ‘General Advisory Committee’ of the US Atomic Energy Commission’ from 1952 to 1956.
  • // 1952 To 1956
    He served as the Chairman of the ‘US Atomic Energy Commission’ from 1952 to 1956.
  • // 1954
    He became a member of ‘Conseil Europeen pour la Recherche Nucleaire’ or ‘CERN’ in 1954.
  • // 1957 To 1964
    He served as a ‘Higgins Professor of Physics’ at the Columbia University from 1957 to 1964.
  • // 1959
    He was appointed a board member of the ‘Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel’ in 1959.
  • // 1964 To 1967
    He served as a ‘University Professor of Physics’ at the ‘Columbia University’ from 1964 to 1967.
  • // 1967
    He won the ‘Niels Bohr Gold Medal’ and the ‘Atoms for Peace Award’ in 1967.
  • // 1981
    Isidor Isaac Rabi had acted as himself in a movie titled ‘The Day After Trinity’ in 1981.
  • // 1982 To 1986
    He received the ‘Oersted Medal’ in 1982 and the ‘Vannevar Bush Award’ in 1986.
  • // 11th Jan 1988
    Isidor Isaac Rabin died of illness in New York City, New York, USA on January 11, 1988 at the age of 89.

// Famous Alumni of Columbia University

Isidor Isaac Rabi's FAQ

  • What is Isidor Isaac Rabi birthday?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi was born at 1898-07-29

  • When was Isidor Isaac Rabi died?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi was died at 1988-01-11

  • Where was Isidor Isaac Rabi died?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi was died in New York City, USA

  • Which age was Isidor Isaac Rabi died?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi was died at age 89

  • Where is Isidor Isaac Rabi's birth place?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi was born in Rymanów, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (today Poland)

  • What is Isidor Isaac Rabi nationalities?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi's nationalities is American

  • Who is Isidor Isaac Rabi spouses?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi's spouses is Helen Newmark

  • Who is Isidor Isaac Rabi childrens?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi's childrens is Margaret, Nancy

  • What was Isidor Isaac Rabi universities?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi studied at Columbia University,Cornell University, Cornell University, Columbia University

  • What was Isidor Isaac Rabi notable alumnis?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi's notable alumnis is Columbia University, Cornell University

  • Who is Isidor Isaac Rabi's father?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi's father is David Rabi

  • Who is Isidor Isaac Rabi's mother?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi's mother is Janet Teig

  • What is Isidor Isaac Rabi's sun sign?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi is Leo

  • How famous is Isidor Isaac Rabi?

    Isidor Isaac Rabi is famouse as Physicist