Isidor Isaac Rabi

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Rabi, Isidor Isaac


Born July 29, 1898 in Rymanów, now in Poland. American physicist. Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1940).

Rabi studied at Cornell and Columbia universities. From 1924 to 1927 he taught at City College in New York. From 1927 to 1929 he did graduate work at the universities of Munich, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Leipzig, and Zürich. He has been working at Columbia University since 1929; he became a professor in 1937. From 1940 to 1945 he was assistant to the director of the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he conducted defense research.

Rabi’s early works were devoted to atomic spectroscopy and the use of molecular beams to study the hyperfine structure of atomic energy levels. In the period 1933–39 he developed a method of measuring the magnetic moments of atomic nuclei by means of radio-frequency resonance and carried out precise measurements of the magnetic moments of the proton and deu-teron. Rabi was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1944.


“A New Method of Measuring Nuclear Magnetic Moment.” Physical Review, 1938, vol. 53, no. 4. (Coauthor.)
“The Molecular Beam Resonance Method for Measuring Nuclear Magnetic Moments.” Ibid., 1939, vol. 55, no. 6. (Coauthor.)
My Life and Times as a Physicist. Claremont, Calif., 1960.