David L. Webster

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David Locke Webster
Born (1888-11-06)November 6, 1888
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died December 17, 1976(1976-12-17) (aged 88)
Palo Alto, California, U.S.
Nationality United States
Fields Physicist
Institutions Harvard University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Stanford University
Alma mater Harvard University
Known for X-ray theory
ultra-high frequency radio waves
rocket science

David Locke Webster (November 6, 1888 – December 17, 1976) was an American physicist and physics professor, whose early research on X-rays and Parson's magneton influenced Arthur Compton.


David Locke Webster was born November 6, 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts to Andrew Gerrish Webster and Elizabeth Florence Briggs. He attended Harvard University, earning an A.B. in 1910 and a Ph.D. in physics in 1913. His teaching career began at Harvard as a mathematics instructor, 1910–1911; physics assistant, 1911–15; and physics instructor, 1915–1917, during which time he published several papers on X-ray theory. This work continued while served as a physics instructor at the nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1919 to 1920. He acted a professor of physics at Stanford University from 1920 until his retirement in 1954, when he was awarded Professor Emeritus status. Webster was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the American Physical Society and the American Geophysical Union. A member of the American Association of Physics Teachers from its inception in 1930, Webster served as its Vice-President in 1933 and 1934 and as President in 1935 and 1936. During World War II, Webster served as head physicist in the United States Army Signal Corps (1942), chief physicist in the Ordnance Department (1942–45), and consultant to these units after 1945. Webster died December 17, 1976.[1][2]



  • David L. Webster, General Physics for Colleges (Century, 1923).

Scientific papers[edit]


  1. ^ American Institute of Physics, Biography of David Locke Webster, College Park, MD (2000).
  2. ^ John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, ed., "David Locke Webster (6 Nov. 1888-17 Dec. 1976)", American National Biography, V22, pp. 868-69 (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1999).

External links[edit]