Chaim L. Pekeris
Chaim Leib Pekeris
|Died||February 24, 1993 (aged 84)|
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
|Known for||surface waves, stability of pipe flow|
|Awards||Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1980)|
Israel Prize (1980)
|Institutions||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
Institute for Advanced Study
Weizmann Institute of Science
Chaim Leib Pekeris (June 15, 1908 – February 24, 1993) was an Israeli-American physicist and mathematician. He made notable contributions to geophysics and the spectral theory of many-electron atoms, in particular the Helium atom. He was also one of the designers of the first computer in Israel, WEIZAC.
Pekeris was born in Alytus, Vilna Governorate on June 15, 1908. With the assistance of his uncle, Pekeris and his two brothers emigrated to the United States around 1925. He entered the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1925 graduating in 1929 with a B.Sc. in meteorology. Pekeris also took his graduate studies at MIT, studying under Carl-Gustav Rossby. He married Lea Kaplan, a Lithuanian born woman in January 1933. He graduated with his doctoral degree in 1933 as well.
In 1934 Pekeris joined the faculty at M.I.T. as an instructor in geophysics in the Department of Geology. He became a US citizen in 1938. Pekeris remained at M.I.T until 1941 when he moved to the Hudson Laboratories of Columbia University to conduct military research. In 1946 he joined the Institute for Advanced Study.
He received the Gold Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society in 1980, and the Israel Prize from the State of Israel in 1981. Teddy Kollek, the mayor of Jerusalem from 1965 to 1993, said 1990: "I have told you a lot about Chaim Pekeris tonight and there is much more that I could tell, but you will understand that there are reasons that I can’t. Let me simply say that Chaim Pekeris played a most significant role in the establishment of the State of Israel." He died in Rehovot, Israel on February 24, 1993.
Awards and honors
- Rockefeller Fellow (1934)
- Fellow of the American Physical Society (1941) 
- Guggenheim Fellowship (1946)
- Member of the National Academy of Sciences (1972)
- Vetlesen Prize (1974)
- Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1980)
- Israel Prize, for physics (1980).
- "Chaim L. Pekeris". Social Security Death Index. New England Historic Genealogical Society. Retrieved 17 March 2011.
- Gilbert, Freeman (2004). Chaim Leib Pekeris (June 15, 1908–February 24, 1993). Biographical Memoirs V.85. National Academy of Sciences. pp. 217–228. doi:10.17226/11172. ISBN 978-0-309-09183-1. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
- BIOGRAPHICAL MEMOIRS
- "U.S. Naturalization Records Indexes, 1794-1995". Index to Naturalization Petitions and Records of the U.S. District Court, 1906-1966, and the U.S. Circuit Court, 1906-1911, for the District of Massachusetts. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Retrieved 25 March 2011.
- "The Vetlesen Prize". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- "APS Fellow archive". APS. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
- "Chaim Leib Pekeris: Fellowship". Guggenheim Foundation. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
- "Israel Prize Official Site - Recipients in 1980 (in Hebrew)".