The Abraham Pais Papers are arranged in 8 series:
Series 1 - Biographical
Series 2 - Manuscripts
Subseries 1 - Niels Bohr
Subseries 2 - Paul Dirac
Subseries 3 - Albert Einstein
Subseries 4 - Inward Bound
Subseries 5 - A Tale of Two Continents
Subseries 6 - Essays, Articles and Unpublished Manuscripts
Series 3 - Subject Files
Series 4 - Lectures
Series 5 - Correspondence
Series 6 - Notes and Notebooks
Series 7 - Photos
Series 8 - Reprints
Biographical / Historical
Abraham Pais (1918-2000), a theoretical physicist, was one of the first founders of particle physics. He was Detlev W. Bronk Professor Emeritus at the Rockefeller University. Known for his work with the forces that control particle interaction, including the development of the principle of associated production, Pais was also a noted historian of science. In the latter part of his career Pais became known for his histories of physics, most notably “Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World,” and his biographies of Albert Einstein, “Subtle is the Lord,” and Niels Bohr, “Niels Bohr’s Times.” Professor Pais died on July 28, 2000.
- May 19, 1918
Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Jesaja and Kaatje Pais.
- November 1, 1920
Sister Annie born.
Obtained high school diploma from HBS (Higher Burgher School) in Amsterdam. Began studies at the University of Amsterdam.
Joined the NZSO (Zionist student organization).
- Spring 1938
Graduated with two bachelor's degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of Amsterdam. Pais also minored in chemistry and astronomy.
- Fall 1938
Enrolled in the University of Utrecht to continue graduate studies under George E. Uhlenbeck and Hendrik Casimir.
- July 9, 1941
Awarded PhD. from University of Utrecht.
- March 1943
Went into hiding from the Gestapo to avoid deportation.
First publications, in the "Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society," "Transactions of the Dutch Academy of Sciences," "Physical Review," "Nature" and "Physica."
- January 1946
Research fellow to Niels Bohr at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- September 1946
Came to the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Temporary Member.
Full-time member of the Institute for Advanced Study.
Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study.
Began development of the "principle of associated production."
Visiting professor at Columbia University.
- May 1956
Attended the First All-Union Conference on the Physics of Particles at High Energies in Moscow [the first post-war conferenence with American participation].
- December 15, 1956
Married first wife, Lila Atwill. Had one son, Joshua in 1958. Divorced in 1961.
- October 1961
Attended the Twelfth Solvay Conference.
Elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Became a professor of physics at the Rockefeller University.
Co-discovered the theory of "particle-mixing" and work with the SU(6) theory.
Married second wife, Sara. Divorced in 1985.
Visiting Professor at the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Named the James Arthur Balfour Professor at the Institute.
Awarded the 11th Annual J. Robert Oppenheimer Memorial Prize.
Named Detlev W. Bronk Professor at the Rockefeller University.
Published "Subtle is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein."
Published "Inward Bound: Of Matter and Forces in the Physical World."
Professor Emeritus at the Rockefeller University.
- March 15, 1990
Married Ida Nicolaisen.
Published "Niels Bohr's Times: In Physics, Philosophy, and Polity."
Received the Physics Prize from the Netherlands Physical Society.
Awarded the Medal of Science from the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. Received the Germant Award of the American Institute of Physics.
Published "Einstein Lived Here: Essays for the Layman."
Awarded the Lewis Thomas Prize.
Published "A Tale of Two Continents: A Physicists Life in a Turbulent World," his autobiography.
Published "The Genius of Science: A Portrait Gallery of Twentieth Century Physicists."
- July 28, 2000
Died from heart failure in Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Processed by Margaret Hogan, December 2005.
Former Classification: I 450 P166
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