G. N. Glasoe

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G. Norris Glasoe (29 October 1902 – May 1987) was an American nuclear physicist. He was a member of the Columbia University team which was the first in the United States to verify the European discovery of the nuclear fission of uranium via neutron bombardment. During World War II, he worked at the MIT Radiation Laboratory. He was a physicist and administrator at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Background[edit]

Gynther Norris Glasoe was born in Northfield, MN to Dr. Paul M. Glasoe and Gena (Kirkwold) Glasoe, both children of Norwegian immigrants. He had two younger brothers: Paul K. Glasoe (1913–2008) and Alf M. Glasoe (1909–2006)[1] [2] [3]

Education[edit]

Glasoe completed his undergraduate degree in 1924 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He received his advanced degrees, including his doctorate, from the University of Wisconsin; a degree was awarded in 1926. After earning his doctorate, Glasoe did research at the University of Wisconsin and then joined the physics faculty at the Columbia University.[4][5]

Career[edit]

John R. Dunning, professor of physics at Columbia, closely followed the work of Ernest Lawrence on the cyclotron. Dunning wanted a more powerful neutron source and the cyclotron appeared as an attractive tool to achieve this end. During 1935 and 1936, he was able construct a cyclotron using many salvaged parts to reduce costs and funding from industrial and private donations. Glasoe, Dana P. Mitchell, and Hugh Paxton, junior members of the physics faculty at Columbia, worked on the cyclotron part-time. At the suggestion of Mitchell, Dunning offered Herbert L. Anderson a teaching assistant position if he would also help with the design and building of the cyclotron during work on his doctorate in physics, which he did. Others assisting in the construction of the cyclotron were Eugene T. Booth and Hugh Glassford. The cyclotron would in a few years be used by Dunning, Glasoe, and Anderson in a historic experiment based on the discovery of nuclear fission in Europe in December 1938 and January 1939.[6][7][8]

In December 1938, the German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann sent a manuscript to Naturwissenschaften reporting they had detected the element barium after bombarding uranium with neutrons;[9] simultaneously, they communicated these results to Lise Meitner. Meitner, and her nephew Otto Robert Frisch, correctly interpreted these results as being nuclear fission.[10] Frisch confirmed this experimentally on 13 January 1939.[11] In 1944, Hahn received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the discovery of nuclear fission. Some historians have documented the history of the discovery of nuclear fission and believe Meitner should have been awarded the Nobel Prize with Hahn.[12][13][14]

Even before it was published, Meitner’s and Frisch’s interpretation of the work of Hahn and Strassmann crossed the Atlantic Ocean with Niels Bohr, who was to lecture at Princeton University. Isidor Isaac Rabi and Willis Lamb, two Columbia University physicists working at Princeton, heard the news and carried it back to Columbia. Rabi said he told Fermi; Fermi gave credit to Lamb. Bohr soon thereafter went from Princeton to Columbia to see Fermi. Not finding Fermi in his office, Bohr went down to the cyclotron area and found Anderson. Bohr grabbed him by the shoulder and said: “Young man, let me explain to you about something new and exciting in physics.”[15] It was clear to a number of scientists at Columbia that they should try to detect the energy released in the nuclear fission of uranium from neutron bombardment. On 25 January 1939, Glasoe was a member of the experimental team at Columbia University which conducted the first nuclear fission experiment in the United States,[16] which was done in the basement of Pupin Hall; the other members of the team were Herbert L. Anderson, Eugene T. Booth, John R. Dunning, Enrico Fermi, and Francis G. Slack.[17]

During World War II, Glasoe was a staff member and associate group leader at the Radiation Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[5]

No later than 1948, and as late as 1965, Glasoe was at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, Long Island, New York. He was associate chairman of the BNL physics department no later than 1952 and associate director of BNL no later than 1965.[4][5][18]

Honors[edit]

Glasoe received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from St. Olaf College in 1965.[5]

Selected publications[edit]

Articles[edit]

  • G. Norris Glasoe Contact Potential Difference between Iron and Nickel and their Photoelectric Work Functions, Phys. Rev. Volume 38, Issue 8, 1490 - 1496 (1931). Institutional citation: University of Wisconsin. Received 5 September 1931.
  • E. Mc Millan, H. L. Anderson, E. T. Booth, J. R. Dunning, E. Fermi, G. N. Glasoe, F. G. Slack Radioactive Recoils from Uranium Activated by Neutrons, Phys. Rev. Volume 55, Number 5, 510-511 (1939).
  • G. N. Glasoe and J. Steigman Fission Products from Uranium, Phys. Rev. Volume 55, Issue 10, 982 - 983 (1939). Institutional citation: Pupin Physics Laboratories, Columbia University, New York, New York. Received 1 May 1939.
  • E. T. Booth, J. R. Dunning, and G. N. Glasoe Range Distribution of the Uranium Fission Fragments, Phys. Rev. Volume 55, Issue 10, 982 - 982 (1939). Institutional citation: Pupin Physics Laboratories, Columbia University, New York, New York. Received 1 May 1939.
  • G. N. Glasoe and J. Steigman Radioactive Products from Gases Produced in Uranium Fission, Phys. Rev. Volume 58, Issue 1, 1 - 6 (1940). Glasoe was identified as being at the Columbia University, New York, New York. Steigman was identified as being at the College of the City of New York, New York, New York and Pupin Physics Laboratories, Columbia University. Received 13 May 1940.
  • G. N. Glasoe, H. Landon, and W. A. McKinley Progress Report for October 1, 1951 to September 30, 1952, Technical Report NYO-869 48 pages, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Subject matter of this report: particle physics.
  • C. O. Muehlhause, S. D. Bloom, H. E. Wegner, and G. N. Glasoe Neutron Scattering from Iron and Carbon by Time-of-Flight, Phys. Rev. Volume 103, Issue 3, 720 - 726 (1956). Institutional citation: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York. Received 26 April 1956. Current address for Wegner: Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico.
  • H. H. Landon, A. J. Elwyn, G. N. Glasoe, and S. Oleksa Neutron Scattering at 2.2 Mev by Time of Flight, Phys. Rev. Volume 112, Issue 4, 1192 - 1200 (1958). Institutional citation: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York. Received 17 July 1958. Current address for Landon: National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D. C.
  • A. J. Elwyn, H. H. Landon, Sophie Oleksa, and G. N. Glasoe Study of Some (p, n) Reactions by Neutron Time of Flight, Phys. Rev. Volume 112, Issue 4, 1200 - 1209 (1958). Institutional citation: Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York. Received 17 July 1958. Current address for Landon: National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D. C.
  • J. A. Benjamin, J. J. Diener, G. N. Glasoe, J. D. Larson, K. F. Minati, P. C. Rogers, H. E. Wegner, H. R. Hyder Terminal Ion Source System for the Brookhaven Three-Stage Tandem Facility, IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science Volume 18, Issue 3, 118 – 122 (1971)

Books[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ 1920 Federal Census (State of Minnesota, County of Rice
  2. ^ Glasoe. Minnesota Birth Index (Minnesota Historic Society)
  3. ^ G. Glasoe. Social Security Death Index (Social Security Administration) [1]
  4. ^ a b George Richard (ed.) Wisconsin Alumnus Volume 54, Number 1 (1952).
  5. ^ a b c d Dr. G. Norris Glasoe Receives Award, The Bulletin Board (A publication of Brookhaven National Laboratory) Volume 18, Number 33, 9 June 1965.
  6. ^ Broad, William J. Columbia’s Historic Atom Smasher Is Now Destined for the Junk Heap, New York Times 20 December 2007. PDF.
  7. ^ Herbert L. Anderson John Ray Dunning 1907 – 1975 in Biographical Memoir 163-186 (National Academy of Sciences, 1989).
  8. ^ Harold M. Agnew Biographical Memoirs: Herbert L. Anderson (National Academy of Sciences).
  9. ^ O. Hahn and F. Strassmann Über den Nachweis und das Verhalten der bei der Bestrahlung des Urans mittels Neutronen entstehenden Erdalkalimetalle (On the detection and characteristics of the alkaline earth metals formed by irradiation of uranium with neutrons), Naturwissenschaften Volume 27, Number 1, 11-15 (1939). The authors were identified as being at the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Institut für Chemie, Berlin-Dahlem. Received 22 December 1938.
  10. ^ Lise Meitner and O. R. Frisch Disintegration of Uranium by Neutrons: a New Type of Nuclear Reaction, Nature, Volume 143, Number 3615, 239-240 (11 February 1939). The paper is dated 16 January 1939. Meitner is identified as being at the Physical Institute, Academy of Sciences, Stockholm. Frisch is identified as being at the Institute of Theoretical Physics, University of Copenhagen.
  11. ^ O. R. Frisch Physical Evidence for the Division of Heavy Nuclei under Neutron Bombardment, Nature, Volume 143, Number 3616, 276-276 (18 February 1939). The paper is dated 17 January 1939. [The experiment for this letter to the editor was conducted on 13 January 1939; see Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb 263 and 268 (Simon and Schuster, 1986).]
  12. ^ Ruth Lewin Sime From Exceptional Prominence to Prominent Exception: Lise Meitner at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Chemistry Ergebnisse 24 Forschungsprogramm Geschichte der Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gesellschaft im Nationalsozialismus (2005).
  13. ^ Ruth Lewin Sime Lise Meitner: A Life in Physics (University of California, 1997).
  14. ^ Elisabeth Crawford, Ruth Lewin Sime, and Mark Walker A Nobel Tale of Postwar Injustice, Physics Today Volume 50, Issue 9, 26-32 (1997).
  15. ^ Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb 268 (Simon and Schuster, 1986).
  16. ^ H. L. Anderson, E. T. Booth, J. R. Dunning, E. Fermi, G. N. Glasoe, and F. G. Slack The Fission of Uranium, Phys. Rev. Volume 55, Number 5, 511 - 512 (1939). Institutional citation: Pupin Physics Laboratories, Columbia University, New York, New York. Received 16 February 1939.
  17. ^ Richard Rhodes The Making of the Atomic Bomb 267-270 (Simon and Schuster, 1986).
  18. ^ Liz Seubert 50 Years of Service to BNL: Irving Feigenbaum, Alternating Gradient Synchrotron Department, Brookhaven Bulletin 13 August 1999.