National Academies Press: OpenBook

Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62 (1993)


Suggested Citation:"WORLD WAR II." National Academy of Sciences. 1993. Biographical Memoirs: Volume 62. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/2201.
Page 316

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I. I. RABI 316 for D2 were much greater than could be attributed to such magnetic interactions but could be fitted by assuming that the deuteron had a nuclear electric quadrupole moment, i.e., had an ellipsoidal shape like an American football rather than a spherical shape; an ellipsoidal shape would result from the existence of a previously unsuspected tensor force between the neutron and proton. In subsequent years Rabi, with his students and associates, successfully applied the beam resonance method to single atoms as well as to polyatomic molecules and in such experiments measured numerous nuclear spins, nuclear and atomic magnetic moments, atomic hyperfine interactions, and nuclear quadrupole moments. The Rabi laboratory at Columbia was a major research center providing new physics data, new ideas, and outstanding and creative young scientists who later went on to establish their own research programs in a variety of fields. Although most of Rabi's graduate students were experimentalists, some, including Julian Schwinger, were theorists. WORLD WAR II World War II interrupted the molecular beam research at Columbia University from 1940 to 1945, when Rabi was actively involved with the development of microwave radar at MIT. There Rabi was a major source of new research ideas and an influential advisor to his research associates. He headed the magnetron group at the MIT Radiation Laboratory and later became deputy director. He was particularly active in developing shorter wavelengths, first from 10 centimeters to 3 centimeters at MIT; later he initiated the establishment of the Columbia Radiation Laboratory, which pioneered in the development of 1-centimeter-wavelength radar. Rabi originated the plans for the writing of the twenty-eight-volume Radiation Laboratory Series, which for many

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Biographic Memoirs: Volume 62 contains the biographies of deceased members of the National Academy of Sciences and bibliographies of their published works. Each biographical essay was written by a member of the Academy familiar with the professional career of the deceased. For historical and bibliographical purposes, these volumes are worth returning to time and again.

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