Willis Lamb
share
Willis Lamb Life & Family, Physicists - đ–đąđ„đ„đąđŹ 𝐋𝐚𝐩𝐛 Biography
0.0 based on 0 votes
Perry
Willis Eugene Lamb Jr.
University Of California, BerkeleyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeley
University Of CaliforniaBerkeley
Lamb ShiftLaser TheoryQuantum Optics
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Male
Willis Eugene Lamb
Marie Helen Metcalfe
Cancer
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
94
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
may 15, 2008
Show more

Who is Willis Lamb?

undefined - Willis LambWillis Lamb

Willis Eugene Lamb Jr. was an American physicist who received the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering a minute difference in the energy levels of a hydrogen atom. His findings led to a reassessment of the basic concept related to the application of the quantum theory to electromagnetism. This deviation in the energy level of an electron orbiting round the nucleus of a hydrogen atom came to be known as ‘the Lamb shift’. The discovery greatly affected the concept of quantum theory related to matter. He shared the Nobel Prize with German-American physicist, Ploykarp Kusch who had also come to the same conclusions while doing the experiment independently. In 1939, at the age of 26, he predicted an effect which was proven 20 years later as the ‘Mossbauer Effect’ also known as the ‘Lamb-Dicke-Mossbauer Effect’. His research covered subjects like theory of the interactions between matter and neutrons, range of fission fragments, theories of nuclear structure, fluctuations in cosmic ray showers, theories of beta decay, pair production, order-disorder problems, quadrupole interactions in molecules and diamagnetic corrections for nuclear resonance. He also studied the design of magnetron oscillators, theory of electrodynamic energy level displacements, theory of the microwave spectroscope and the fine structure of hydrogen, helium and deuterium atoms.

Show more

Willis Lamb Childhood & Early Life

Willis E. Lamb was born in Los Angeles, California, USA on July 12, 1913. His father, Willis Eugene was a telephone engineer and his mother was Marie Helen Metcalfe.

He had a younger brother named Perry.

His initially studied for three years in Oakland, California and then joined a public school in Los Angeles.

He graduated from the ‘Los Angeles High School’ with mathematics, physics and chemistry as his major subjects.

He enrolled at the ‘University of California’ in Berkeley in 1930 and received a B.S. bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the university in 1934.

He studied theoretical physics and did his thesis for his doctorate under J. Robert Oppeheimer who later headed the Manhattan Project.

Lamb received his doctorate from the ‘University of California’ in Berkeley in 1938 for his dissertation related to the electromagnetic properties of nuclear systems.

Willis Lamb Career

Willis E. Lamb joined the faculty of the physics department in ‘Columbia University’ in 1938 as an ‘Instructor in Physics’. He became an ‘Associate’ in 1943, an ‘Assistant Professor’ in 1945, an ‘Associate Professor’ in 1947 and a full Professor in 1948.

During the Second World War he worked at the ‘Columbia University Radiation Laboratory’ from 1943 to 1951 on how to make sources for radar which could produce shorter microwaves at higher frequencies. This work helped him win the Nobel Prize later.

In April,1947, he carried out an experiment with which he was able to discover the shift in the energy levels of a hydrogen atom which later came to be known as ‘the Lamb shift’.

He taught atomic spectroscopy as a ‘Professor of Physics’ at the ‘University of Stanford’ from 1951 to 1956.

He also served as a ‘Morris Loeb Lecturer’ at the ‘Harvard University’ from 1953 to 1954.

He served as a ‘Wykeham Professor of Physics’ and Fellow of ‘New College’ at the ‘University of Oxford’ in England from 1956 to 1962.

He joined the ‘Yale University’ as a ‘Henry Ford II Professor of Physics in 1962 and became a ‘J. Willard Gibbs Professor of Physics in 1972. He held that post till 1974.

He joined the ‘University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center’ in 1974 and became a ‘Regent’s Professor of Physics and Optical Sciences’ in 1990.

He worked from his office in the ‘University of Arizona’ campus after retiring from active teaching at the university in 2002.

Willis Lamb Major Works

Williams E. Lamb wrote a series of papers which were published in the journal ‘Physical Review’ from 1947 to 1953. These papers were regarded as classics by atomic scientists all over the world.

Willis Lamb Awards & Achievements

Williams E. Lamb received the ‘Rumford Premium Award’ from the ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ in 1953.

An honorary D.Sc. degree was conferred upon him by the ‘University of Pennsylvania’ in 1954.

He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1955 and the ‘Research Corporation Award’ in the same year.

He received ‘Einstein Medal’ from the ‘Society for Optical and Quantum Electronics’ in 1992.

He received the ‘Guthrie Award’ from the ‘Physical Society of London’.

He was elected to the ‘National Academy of Sciences’ and was made an ‘Honorary Member’ of the ‘Optical Society of America’ in 1999.

He was also made a ‘Fellow of the American Physical Society’ and a ‘Foreign Member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh’.

He received the ‘National Medal of Science’, the highest national honor for scientific work, in 2000.

He held honorary degrees from the ‘Oxford University’, the ‘Yale University’, the ‘Yeshiva University’, the ‘Gustavus Adolphus College’ and the ‘Columbia University’.

Willis Lamb Personal Life & Legacy

He married Ursula Schaefer, a German student of history associated with the ‘University of Arizona’, in 1939.

After the death of Ursula in 1996, he married Bruria Kaufman, an Israeli physicist whom he had met in Columbia in 1941, in the same year and divorced her later.

His third marriage was with Elsie Wattson on January 26, 2008 whom he had met 27 years ago. He did not have any children from any of these marriages.

Willis Eugene Lamb died of complications due to gallstones at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, USA on May 15, 2008 at the age of 94.

The ‘Willis E. Lamb Award’ for ‘Laser Science and Quantum Optics’ was initiated by the ‘Physics of Quantum Electronics (PQE)’ in 1998 and is presented annually to scientists for their outstanding contributions to the field of quantum theory.

Willis Lamb Trivia

Willis E. Lamb was described by another UA physicist William A. Wing as ‘one of the rare physicists who goes on and on, just keeps on exploring throughout his career’. His colleagues found his work ethic inspiring and called him ‘a real giant in his field’.

Show more

Willis Lamb awards

  • Other

    • Nobel Prize in Physics (1955)
Show more

Willis Lamb biography timelines

  • Willis E. Lamb was born in Los Angeles, California, USA on July 12, 1913. His father, Willis Eugene was a telephone engineer and his mother was Marie Helen Metcalfe.
    12th Jul 1913
  • He enrolled at the ‘University of California’ in Berkeley in 1930 and received a B.S. bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the university in 1934.
    1930 To 1934
  • Lamb received his doctorate from the ‘University of California’ in Berkeley in 1938 for his dissertation related to the electromagnetic properties of nuclear systems.
    1938
  • He married Ursula Schaefer, a German student of history associated with the ‘University of Arizona’, in 1939.
    1939
  • During the Second World War he worked at the ‘Columbia University Radiation Laboratory’ from 1943 to 1951 on how to make sources for radar which could produce shorter microwaves at higher frequencies. This work helped him win the Nobel Prize later.
    1943 To 1951
  • In April,1947, he carried out an experiment with which he was able to discover the shift in the energy levels of a hydrogen atom which later came to be known as ‘the Lamb shift’.
    1947
  • Williams E. Lamb wrote a series of papers which were published in the journal ‘Physical Review’ from 1947 to 1953. These papers were regarded as classics by atomic scientists all over the world.
    1947 To 1953
  • He taught atomic spectroscopy as a ‘Professor of Physics’ at the ‘University of Stanford’ from 1951 to 1956.
    1951 To 1956
  • He also served as a ‘Morris Loeb Lecturer’ at the ‘Harvard University’ from 1953 to 1954.
    1953 To 1954
  • Williams E. Lamb received the ‘Rumford Premium Award’ from the ‘American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ in 1953.
    1953
  • An honorary D.Sc. degree was conferred upon him by the ‘University of Pennsylvania’ in 1954.
    1954
  • He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1955 and the ‘Research Corporation Award’ in the same year.
    1955
  • He served as a ‘Wykeham Professor of Physics’ and Fellow of ‘New College’ at the ‘University of Oxford’ in England from 1956 to 1962.
    1956 To 1962
  • He joined the ‘University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center’ in 1974 and became a ‘Regent’s Professor of Physics and Optical Sciences’ in 1990.
    1974 To 1990
  • He received ‘Einstein Medal’ from the ‘Society for Optical and Quantum Electronics’ in 1992.
    1992
  • After the death of Ursula in 1996, he married Bruria Kaufman, an Israeli physicist whom he had met in Columbia in 1941, in the same year and divorced her later.
    1996
  • The ‘Willis E. Lamb Award’ for ‘Laser Science and Quantum Optics’ was initiated by the ‘Physics of Quantum Electronics (PQE)’ in 1998 and is presented annually to scientists for their outstanding contributions to the field of quantum theory.
    1998
  • He was elected to the ‘National Academy of Sciences’ and was made an ‘Honorary Member’ of the ‘Optical Society of America’ in 1999.
    1999
  • He received the ‘National Medal of Science’, the highest national honor for scientific work, in 2000.
    2000
  • He worked from his office in the ‘University of Arizona’ campus after retiring from active teaching at the university in 2002.
    2002
  • His third marriage was with Elsie Wattson on January 26, 2008 whom he had met 27 years ago. He did not have any children from any of these marriages.
    26th Jan 2008
  • Willis Eugene Lamb died of complications due to gallstones at the University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, USA on May 15, 2008 at the age of 94.
    15th May 2008
Show more

Frequently asked questions about Willis Lamb

  • What is Willis Lamb birthday?

    Willis Lamb was born at July 12, 1913

  • Where is Willis Lamb's birth place?

    Willis Lamb was born in Los Angeles, California, U.S.

  • What is Willis Lamb nationalities?

    Willis Lamb's nationalities is American

  • Who is Willis Lamb siblings?

    Willis Lamb's siblings is Perry

  • What was Willis Lamb universities?

    Willis Lamb studied at University Of California, Berkeley, University of California, Berkeley university

  • What was Willis Lamb notable alumnis?

    Willis Lamb's notable alumnis is University Of California, Berkeley

  • What is Willis Lamb's inventions/discoveries?

    Lamb Shift, Laser Theory, Quantum Optics was invented (or discovered) by Willis Lamb

  • Who is Willis Lamb's father?

    Willis Lamb's father is Willis Eugene Lamb

  • Who is Willis Lamb's mother?

    Willis Lamb's mother is Marie Helen Metcalfe

  • What is Willis Lamb's sun sign?

    Willis Lamb is Cancer

  • When was Willis Lamb died?

    Willis Lamb was died at May 15, 2008

  • Where was Willis Lamb died?

    Willis Lamb was died in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.

  • Which age was Willis Lamb died?

    Willis Lamb was died at age 94