Willis Eugene Lamb Jr


Willis Eugene Lamb Jr
(1913)

American physicist and joint winner, with Polykarp Kusch, of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1955 for experimental work that spurred refinements in the quantum theories of electromagnetic phenomena.
Lamb joined the faculty of Columbia University in 1938 and worked in the Radiation Laboratory there during World War II. Though the quantum mechanics of P.A.M. Dirac had predicted the hyperfine structure of the lines that appear in the spectrum (dispersed light, as by a prism), Lamb applied new methods to measure the lines and in 1947 found their positions to be slightly different from what had been predicted. While a professor of physics at Stanford University, California, (1951-56), Lamb devised microwave techniques for examining the hyperfine structure of the spectral lines of helium. He was professor of theoretical physics at the University of Oxford until 1962, when he was appointed professor of physics at Yale University. In 1974 he became professor of physics and optical sciences at the University of Arizona


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