Isidor Isaac Rabi

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The breakthrough came when the American delegate to UNESCO (and Nobel Prize laureate physicists), Isidor Rabi, delivered an inspiring speech in favour of the idea of a European research centre at the fifth UNESCO General Conference in Florence in June 1950.
Four of his doctoral students (Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli, Peter Debye, and Hans Bethe) and two post-doctoral students (Linus Pauling and Isidor Rabi) were to become Nobel Laureates.
As a graduate student, more than 50 years ago, I heard Isidor Rabi make a fervent appeal to cultivate common ground, shared by science and liberal arts.
Neils Bohr had talked to Oppenheimer in 1944 about the need to institute international control of nuclear technology, and Isidor Rabi reinforced this view in talks with Oppenheimer in late 1943.
His Nobel citation stated that his ideas and discoveries "stimulated the whole modern development of chemistry from chemical kinetics to cosmochemistry." Isidor Rabi, a Nobelist in Physics in 1944, wrote congratulating him and telling him: "The Nobel Prize brings with it many problems and you may as well enjoy it before the avalanche descends on you and interferes with your proper work." That time seems to have been short, for he was at once overwhelmed with offers of honorary degrees, invitations to lecture, and requests to open laboratories.