G. C. Danielson

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Gordon C. Danielson was a professor of physics at Iowa State University (ISU) from 1948 - 1981. He became a Distinguished Professor of Sciences and Humanities at ISU in 1964 and was also an Associate of the Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa. He was designated “Professor Emeritus” of Iowa State University upon his retirement in 1981. He was a Guggenheim fellow at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, England in 1958-59. The Gordon C. Danielson Memorial Endowment Fund at ISU was established in his name. He was born on October 28, 1912 in Dover Idaho and died on September 30, 1983 in Boone, Iowa.

Gordon Danielson developed an early algorithm for the Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) as a graduate student with Cornelius Lanczos(1). The algorithm has ultimately been called the Danielson-Lanczos lemma, and is the early basis for the widespread use of the FFT used extensively today in engineering, physics, chemistry, and mathematics.

He was the author of over 70 technical papers in physics, with concentrations in the alkali tungsten bronzes(2), barium titanate (BaTiO3), Mg2Si and related compounds, and methods of thermal and electrical property measurements(3).

1. G. C. Danielson and C. Lanczos, Some Improvements in Practical Fourier Analysis and Their Application to X-Ray Scattering from Liquids, J. Franklin Inst., Vol. 233, pages 365-380 and 435-452 (1942).

2. L. D. Muhlestein and G. C. Danielson, Effects of Ordering on the Transport Properties of Sodium Tungsten Bronze, Phys. Rev., Vol. 158, No. 3, pages 825-832 (1967).

3. G. C. Danielson and P. H. Sidles, Chapter 3, Thermal Diffusivity and Other Non-steady-state Methods, pages 149-201, in Thermal Conductivity, R.P. Tye, ed., Vol. 2, Academic Press, New York, 1969.