The Early Years of Condensed Matter Physics at Illinois — in Celebration of the 80th Birth Year of Charles P. Slichter — Charlie Slichter & the gang at Urbana

Por • 15 mar, 2014 • Sección: Opinion

Leo P. Kadanoff

Abstract: The 1950s– and perhaps also the 1960s– were very special times for the development of solid-state/condensed-matter physics. The University of Illinois at Urbana was at the center of these activities. In areas like NMR and superconductivity, methods were developed which would form the basis for the next half century of science and technology. Experimentalists, including Charlie and John Wheatley, worked hand in hand with theorists, including the incomparable John Bardeen. They worked cooperatively to develop ideas, often born in Urbana, but with godparents at Harvard and Moscow and Paris. A characteristic style of broad collaboration and spirited exchange developed and spread from Illinois. This development was not an accident but the result of the vision of leaders like Wheeler Loomis, Fred Seitz, and later Gerald Almy1. The strong leadership saved the other scientists from expending their time on departmental decision-making. The style of the scientific activity was set by Fred, who strongly encouraged joint activities–especially the interaction between between theory and experiment and between physics and engineering. Fred encouraged comments from everyone, and helped everyone grow fast

arXiv:1403.2458v1 [physics.hist-ph]

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