Zacharias, Jerrold Reinach

views updated


ZACHARIAS, JERROLD REINACH (1905–1986), U.S. physicist and educator. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Zacharias joined the staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory in 1940. He spent 1945 at Los Alamos working on the atomic bomb project, and in 1946 was appointed professor of physics and director of the nuclear science laboratory at m.i.t., where he pursued research on the radio frequency spectra of atoms. This led to the development of an atomic clock, the first practical atomic frequency standard.

In 1956 Zacharias founded the now internationally known Physical Science Study Committee to devise more effective methods for the teaching of physics. He was named institute professor and director of the Education Research Center at mit in 1968. He was coauthor of Medical Education Reconsidered (1966).