Walker Bleakney

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Walker Bleakney
Born(1901-02-08)February 8, 1901
DiedJanuary 15, 1992(1992-01-15) (aged 90)
Educationgraduate of Echo High School, Echo, OR in 1919; source Bleakney papers; Echo School Records
Alma materWhitman College
Scientific career
Doctoral advisorJohn T. Tate

Walker Bleakney (February 8, 1901 – January 15, 1992) was an American physicist,[1] one of inventors of mass spectrometers,[1][2][3][4] and widely noted for his research in the fields of atomic physics, molecular physics, fluid dynamics, the ionization of gases, and blast waves.[5] Bleakney was the chair of the department of physics at Princeton University.[5][6] He was the head of the Princeton Ballistic Project during World War II.[5][7]


Bleakney graduated from Whitman College in 1924 with a BS degree. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1930.[5] He then spent his entire career at Princeton University, first as a National Research Fellow,[8] then as an instructor in 1932.[5]

He then became an assistant professor in 1935 [1], an associate professor in 1938 and a full professor in 1944.[5] Bleakney became the chair of the Department of Physics in 1960, and remained in that capacity until 1967.[5]

Early in his career at Princeton, Bleaker was able to make a difference in nuclear physics. For example, he proved that heavy water contains traces of triple-weight hydrogen (1935).[9] In a team with other Princeton physicists he produced Hydrogen 3 in 1934.[10]

Awards and Distinctions[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • R. J. Emrich. Walker Bleakney and the development of the shock tube at Princeton. Shock Wave 5(1996):327–39.

External links[edit]