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86 Eminent Physicists
Melba Newell Phillips
Some Important Contributions:
Theory of the Oppenheimer-Phillips effect - the process whereby a compound nucleus C' is formed by neutron capture in deuteron bombardment; viz., d + X(Z,A) = C'(Z,A+1) + p.
Two textbooks widely used for undergraduate and graduate physics teaching.
Developed and implemented training for physics teaching at all grade levels.
Some Important Publications:
"Transmutation Function for Deuterons," Phys. Rev. 48: 500 (1935), with J.R. Oppenheimer.
Principles of Physical Science. Addison-Wesley Publishing Co., Reading, MA 1955, with Francis T. Bonner.
Classical Electricity and Magnetism. Addison-Wesley Pub., Reading,
MA 1955, with W. K. H. Panofsky.
Articles on history of physics:
History of Physics. eds. Melba Phillips and Spencer R. Weart, American Institute of Physics, New York, NY 1985.
"The American Physical Society: A Survey of Its First 50 Years," American Journal of Physics 3:219 (1990).
Honorary D. Sc., Oakland City College, Indiana, 1964
Oersted Medal, American Association of Physics Teachers, 1974
Guy and Rebecca Forman Award for Outstanding Teaching in Undergraduate Physics, Vanderbilt University, 1988
Honorary Member, Sigma Pi Sigma
Fellow, American Physical Society
B.A. Oakland City College, Indiana 1926
Sources and References consultedMelba N. Phillips and [amw1992], [mnp1974kf], [33L LSG]
Additional Information/CommentsIn 1952, during the infamous McCarthy era, Melba Phillips was dismissed from Brooklyn College and the Columbia Radiation Laboratory for refusing to cooperate with the McCarran [Congressional] Committee's investigation of friends and colleagues.
In 1987, Brooklyn College publicly apologized.
On May 17,1997, the Physics Department of Brookyn College of The City
University of New York held a day-long symposium in her honor, and established a student scholarship in her name.
"Probably no person has contributed to physics education over a broader range than Melba Newell Phillips. She has co-authored two classic texts, one on electricity and magnetism at the graduate level with Panofsky, the other on physical science at the introductory level with Bonner (lately revised with Raymond). In many ways--through committees, panels, consultantships, and, above all, through her own courses designed for prospective teachers--she has profoundly influenced the teaching of science in the elementary and secondary grades. Students who know her only through her books can recognize her gift for clarity and her passion for precision. Students who have been priviledged to know her in the classroom have been touched by her qualities as a human being. Not only does she have that mark of every great teacher, deep concern for the progress of each student, she also sets standards of intellectual honesty, self-criticism, and style that have left their imprint on a legion who passed her way." -- Kenneth Ford [mnp1974kf]
Melba Phillips is "a role model for principle and perseverance." --Dwight E. Neuenschwander
AAPT Executive Board (1962-65)
Edited by:Melba Phillips and Nina Byers
To cite this citation:
" Phillips, Melba Newell." CWP < home >