Happer, William, Jr.

Happer, William, Jr.

(1939–  ) atomic physicist, optical engineer; born in Vellore, India, to an American medical missionary and a Scottish medical military officer. His mother brought him home to North Carolina in 1941. Happer worked in Columbia University (1964–80), where he invented the miniaturized resonance magnetometer (1977). He joined Princeton (1980–91), then moved to the U.S. Department of Energy (1991). He made major contributions to the fields of optics, laser spectroscopy, and spin polarization.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.