Goudsmit, Samuel Abraham

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(b. The Hague, Netherlands, 11 July 1902;d. Reno Nevada, 4December 1978). Physics.

Goudsmit was born into comfortable circumstances. His father, Isaac was a well-to-do wholesaler of bathroom fixtures. His mother. Marianne Gompers, ran a fashionable millinery shop. When Goudsmit was ten. his mother began consulting him on the design of new hats. She and her designers often followed his advice. Goudsmit later said that he found the task of guessing six months in advance what kinds of hats would be in demand exciting and challenging. If not for the fact that poor health forced his mother to abandon her business in 1919, during Goudsmit’s last year in high school, he might well have followed her into the business.

Goudsmit’s interest in science first manifested itself when, at age eleven, he read an account of spectrographic phenomena in the elementary physics textbook of his older sister Rosemarie. While he found it fascinating. his decision to study physics when he entered the University of Leiden was based almost solely on the fact that in high school his best grades had been in science and mathematics, and on the further fact that he had no interest in following his father into the business world.

At the University of Leiden, Goudsmit came under the influence of Paul Ehrenfest, who quickly recognized that Goudsmit had a keen intuition for making sense out of empirical data. Under Ehrenfest’s tutelage. Goudsmit’s mild interest in physics developed into a deep and committed passion. The problems to which Ehrenfest directed Goudsmit were related to analyzing and finding order in the’ fine structure’ of atomic spectra. Two years after beginning his physics studies, Goudsmit published his first paper (1921). He was convinced that he had found a relativistic formula for doublets in alkali metals that was similar to Arnold Sommerfeld’s formula for X-ray doublets. Though Ehrenfest was skeptical, he encouraged Goudsmit to proceed with publication. Goudsmit’s results did not gain much attention even though the problem of understanding doublets, multiplets, and the anomalous Zeeman effect was the focus of attention for those attempting to develop a comprehensive theory of the atom. One of the reasons Goudsmit’s work may not have gotten more attention was the fact that his relativistic treatment was eclipsed by the popularity of the so-called rump theory first introduced by Werner Heisenberg in early 1922.

Between 1922 and 1925 Goudsmit continued to work on complex spectra and the Zeeman effect. In 1924, Ehrenfest arranged for him to spend half of each week working as an experimental spectroscopist in Pieter Zeeman’s laboratory in Amsterdam. With Ehrenfest’s group in Leiden for the rest of the week, Goudsmit concentrated on manipulating formulas for accounting for the location and intensity of X-ray lines. There were no general rules. Getting the right formula was a matter of intuitive manipulation of quantum-number rules. It was the kind of detective work in which Goudsmit reveled. During this period he was author or coauthor of several papers on complex spectra and the intensity of Zeeman components.

Early in 1925 physicists struggling to develop a comprehensive quantum theory to account for the data of atomic spectra were faced with several riddles and conundrums. The doublet riddle had emerged in early 1924. Therump model accounted for optical multiplets by ascribing them to the magnetic interaction between a single-valence electron and the rest of the atom. or rump. X-ray multiplets were explained by using relativistic precession of electron orbits. Theriddle arose from the fact that the two approaches are, at base, incompatible with each other, and yet each was able to partially explain phenomena thought to lie within the range of the other. A second riddle was associated with the assumptions of the Bohr Aufbauprinzip (buildup principle). Starting with hydrogen. Bohr proposed a one-by-one adiabatic addition of electrons. Each atom was treated as the core of the next to be built, it being assumed that the quantum numbers of electrons in the core would be invariant. But Alfred Landé had shown, early in 1923, that the quantum number was not an invariant when an electron was added to the atom, and that in fact the so-called core must have half-integer angular momentum. These were only two of a wealth of difficulties. For example, no model or theory was able to account for the anomalous Zeeman effect, the splitting of each line of a multiplet in the presence of a weak magnetic field.

Near the end 1924 Wolfgang Pauli had completed a paper in which he proposed replacing the various models that had thus far been put forward with an abstract conceptual system in which each electron in the atom was assigned a total of four (instead of the usual three) quantum numbers. He was able to do this by asserting the exclusion principle—no two electrons in an atom could have the same four quantum numbers. The paper was published in early 1925, and almost immediately it caught Goudsmit’s attention. In May 1925 he published a paper suggesting a simplification of the exclusion principle in which the fourth quantum number was always ±½. But in the spirit of the work that Goudsmit had been doing for the previous four years. his suggestion was purely formal and did not carry with it any physical interpretation.

In June 1925 George Uhlenbeck, another of Ehrenfest’s students, returned from Rome, where he had served for three years as personal tutor to the son of the Dutch ambassador. Ehrenfest suggested that Uhlenbeck spend the summer with Goudsmit, learning about recent developments in the theory of atomic spectra. They were an excellent match. Goudsmit supplied the intuitions necessary to recognize and summarize regularities not immediately obvious in the data provided by spectral analysis. Uhlenbeck was more analytically oriented, more readily able to make connections between formal systems and traditional physical concepts. When Goudsmit explained Pauli’s proposals, Uhlenbeck immediately jumped to the premise that each of the quantum numbers is associated with a degree of freedom for each of the electrons, and that therefore the fourth quantum number must correspond to the spin of the electron. Between them they quickly worked out the result that if the angular momentum of the electron was ħ/2, then the interpretation of the alkali doublets was the two orientations of the electron spin relative to its orbital motion. Assuming that the magnetic moment was one Bohr magneton, all of the Zeeman effects could be accounted for. Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck immediately wrote up the result in a short note they gave to Ehrenfest. Although he was skeptical, Ehrenfest submitted it for publication. Later, when they had second thoughts and asked Ehrenfest to withdraw the paper, he refused, on the grounds that they were’ both young enough to be able to afford a stupidity.’ The paper was published in mid November.

Serious objections were raised to their electron spin hypothesis from two quarters. H.A. Lorentz quickly pointed out that, using the standard radius for the electron, r0= e2/mc2, if the electron possessed an angular momentum of ħ/2, then the surface velocity would be about ten times the speed of light. On the day the paper was published, Goudsmit received a letter from Heisenberg in which Heisenberg noted that the doublet separation predicted by their formulation was too large by a factor of two. In February 1926, L. H. Thomas showed that the factor of two could be explained if one took into account of two could be explained if on took into account relativistic precession of the electron orbit. By that time the issue had already all but been decided. In December 1925, in a series of informal discussions at Leiden with Ehrenfest, Goudsmit, and Uhlenbeck, both Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein became convinced of the essential soundness of the concept of spin. Bohr in turn convinced Heisenberg. Pauli held out until he was satisfied of the correctness of Thomas’ explanation of the factor of two. Still. Thenotion of spin was not completely assimilated until 1928, when Paul Dirac developed the complete relativistic wave equation of the electron.

Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck had not been the only people stimulated by Pauli’s exclusion principle paper to consider introducing the concept of electron spin. The idea was definitely in the air. On a visit to Tübingen in January 1925, the American Ralph Krönig, who earlier had collaborated with Goudsmit in Zeeman’s laboratory. used the concept of spin to work out the relativistic doublet formulas. Because of the skepticism and even derision he encountered from (among others) Heisenberg. Pauli. and Ernst Jordan, he suppressed the idea. Earlier, in 1921, Arthur Compton had suggested that a spinning electron should be the ultimate magnetic particle, but he never worked out the consequences.

The discovery of electron spin and its acceptance propelled Goudsmit into the inner circle of the world physics community. He was invited to Copenhagen to work with the group at Bohr’s institute, and in 1926 he was awarded a Rockefeller fellowship that enabled him to travel to Tübingen, where he collaborated with Ernst Back in measuring the hyperfine splittings in the spectrum of bismuth and in showing that one could account for this structure by assuming that the bismuth nucleus had a spin and a magnetic moment.

Some, such as I. I. Rabi, were later bemused that Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck were never awarded the Nobel Prize for the discovery of electron spin. In 1953 the discovery did bring them the Research Corporation Award. and in 1965 they shared the German Physical Society’s Max Planck Medal. But the most immediate significant effect of the discovery for both Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck was the fact that it led to career opportunities that might not otherwise have materialized.

During the mid 1920’s under the direction of Harrison M. Randall, the University of Michigan physics department sought to strengthen its theoretical group in order to provide a balance to its experimental program, which was especially strong in infrared spectroscopy. In 1926 the head of Michigan’s theoretical group, Walter Colby, offered Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck positions in the department. Goudsmit was hesitant. He hated the thought of leaving Ehrenfest and was reluctant to give up his only recently acquired niche in the inner circle of European physics. Ehrenfest, who had recommended Goudsmit and Uhlenbeck to Colby, urged that Goudsmit take the offer, on the grounds that American physics was becoming more and more important, and the chances for rapid career advancement in America were far greater than in Europe. The superior financial prospects for a university physicist in America were of no small consideration, since Goudsmit had only recently become engaged. In the summer of 1927, after he had received his Ph.D., he married Jeanne (Jaantje) Logher, who had been a designer in his mother’s shop; they had a daughter, Esther. With his new wife, he moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was to be an instructor in the Michigan physics department.

Goudsmit’s fears that by moving to the University of Michigan he would be removing himself from the inner circle of the international physics community were unfounded. Beginning in the summer of 1928. what had been a summer school for experimental physics primarily for the students and faculty at Michigan was transformed into an annual summer symposium on theoretical physics. Leaders in the field from all over the world were invited to participate, and their lectures attracted physicists from far and wide. As a result Goudsmit remained at the center of both the formal and the informal network of the world’s leading physicists. He had an excellent reputation as a teacher, serving as professor from 1932 to 1946. In 1929, with his first graduate student, Robert Bacher, he published two articles on hyperfine structure. In 1932 they collaborated on Atomic Energy States, as Derived from the Analyses of Optical Spectra. In 1930 Goudsmit had collaborated with Linus Pauling on The Structure of Line Spectra. Both works were important source books for many years. In the mid 1930’s Goudsmit’s research interests shifted somewhat from work on atomic spectra to studies in neutron physics and problems in electron scattering.

The degree to which Goudsmit became assimilated to his American surroundings can be judged from the fact that in 1938, while on a trip to the Netherlands, he was offered a professorship at Amsterdam as successor to Zeeman. Even though the appointment had earlier seemed to Goudsmit to be an unattainable dream, he decided against the move. Had World War II not come along, Goudsmit most likely would have lived out his life learning and teaching at the University of Michigan. It was not to be.

In 1941 Goudsmit joined the Radiation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where initially he worked on signal-to-noise ratio problems. In the summer of 1943 he was sent to England to investigate the source of dissatisfaction among American air crews with radar sets Royal Air Force crews found perfectly satisfactory. After several months of study, Goudsmit concluded, in part on the basis of many hours of interviews with flight crews, that the source of the difficulty lay in the fact that the radars had been designed with low-flying tactical airplanes in mind and were ill suited for the high-flying strategic bombers of the American Eighth Air Force. It was another example of Goudsmit’s talent as a detective and a sleuth.

Goudsmit’s interest in puzzle-solving and mysteries, which had led him to take a course in forensics and to study Egyptology (to the point of being proficient in deciphering hieroglyphics) further manifested itself in a memo he wrote in June 1943 to Lee A. Dubridge, head of the Radiation Laboratory, in which he recommended himself as a person who would be well suited for getting information on the work of scientists in Europe:’ I have very close personal contacts with most of the physicists in Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, and even Germany. I think there are even some German physicists who still believe I am their friend.’ Three months later, in September 1943, Goudsmit was offered and accepted the position of scientific head of Project ALSOS. Thename ALSOS, derived for the Greek word for “grove”, was chosen by the army because the project was conceived of by General Leslie R. Groves, the head of the American atom bomb program. The purpose of Project ALSOS was to follow directly behind advanced elements of Allied forces in Europe in order to uncover firsthand information on war-related German scientific research, especially research in nuclear physics and atom bomb development.

Between April 1944 and May 1945 the ALSOS unit hopscotched through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, investigating significant physics laboratories, seizing and assessing documents and apparatus, capturing and interrogating scientists—especially physicists and chemists thought likely to be working on problems of nuclear physics and nuclear engineering. When Goudsmit arrived at the University of Strasbourg in November 1944, he found what he considered incontrovertible evidence in the files of the physicist Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker that German work on an atomic bomb was not very far advanced. He also discovered that his old colleague and friend Heisenberg and his laboratory had been evacuated from Berlin to the small Bavarian town of Hechingen. Goudsmit was of the opinion that Heisenberg was in overall charge of German atomic bomb work. In the spring of 1945, elements of the ALSOS team captured the Hechingen laboratory and uncovered the German uranium heavy-water reactor that had been under construction in a camouflaged cave in the nearby village of Haigerloch.

Shortly after the end of hostilities in Europe, while Goudsmit was still attached to ALSOS, he took a trip to Holland to visit his parents’ house in the Hague. He had last heard from his parents, who were Jewish, in March 1943, in a letter sent from a Nazi concentration camp. The house was in shambles, but the framework still stood. Subsequently. from records kept by the Germans, Goudsmit confirmed that his parents had been put to death in the gas chamber of a concentration camp.

By all accounts these experiences had a deep and lasting effect on Goudsmit’s psyche. He was stunned when he realized that his colleagues in what has been termed “scientific intelligence” did not seem to have been repelled, as he had been, by evidence he uncovered of the atrocities committed by German scientists and physicians in the name of scientific research. He returned to the United States determined not to bow to the expediency of looking the other way in the interests of exploiting the talents of German scientists who had so recently been part of the Nazi war effort. He was aided in this effort by the fact that in 1948 his erstwhile colleague at Michigan, Walter Colby, who had worked with him in Project ALSOS, became first director of the Office of Intelligence for the Atomic Energy Commission.

Goudsmit and Colby were very close. On the one hand, Colby lent Goudsmit the money to buy a house. On the other hand, Colby, who had extremely serious bouts of self-doubt, relied heavily and sometimes totally on Goudsmit’s advice with regard to whom to hire, how to approach different government intelligence agencies, how to organize the office, how to address individual personnel problems, how and when to organize official trips to various European establishments, whom to see on such trips, what to say, and what kinds of information would be important to obtain. Colby kept Goudsmit closely informed on the latest intelligence information regarding particular individual German and Eastern European scientists. It was an extraordinary arrangement.

Goudsmit’s personal vigilance on the question of the treatment and reception of German scientists has to be seen against a background in which his own career took a very sharp turn. At the end of the war, Goudsmit realized that he did not want to return to what he now perceived to be the relatively cloistered environment of Michigan. Immediately after the war he moved from Michigan to Northwestern but stayed for only a year. The same restlessness that prevented him from returning to Michigan drove him to seek a position that, in his judgment, was more in the center of the postwar action in physics. At the end of 1947 he accepted an offer to join the staff of the Brookhaven National Laboratories (BNL) as senior physicist. BNL director Philip Morse expected that Goudsmit would want to pursue his own research, but he expressed the hope that Goudsmit could play the role of adviser and guide to younger members of the staff.

Goudsmit took up residence at Brookhaven in early 1948 and remained there until his retirement in 1970. In fact, his only research work was in the development of a time-of-flight mass spectrometer, a device in which ions of an atomic species are given a known momentum and then measurement of the time of flight of the ions over a known distance is used to give accurate information on the mass of the species. But there can be no question that he was of force and a presence at BNL. In 1952 he became chairman of the physics department.

By the time Goudsmit moved to Brookhaven in 1948, he was well known not just to the physics community but also to the general public for his outspoken attacks against the easy assimilation of German scientists back into the world community of physicists. With regard to individual German scientists, Goudsmit concentrated much of his energy speaking out against the opinions of Werner Heisenberg, He suggested that Heisenberg and those working with him in nuclear research had not sorted out the most basic principles necessary to develop an effective nuclear engineering program. He wrote a scathing public denouncement of Heisenberg’s claim that during the war he had actively dragged his heels in developing the atomic bomb. He engaged in direct exchanges with Heisenberg and openly battled with newspaper people who showed any inclination to treat the Heisenberg claims seriously.

Whether individuals agreed with his judgments or not, Goudsmit’s outspoken, even brutal, attacks on German scientists were widely interpreted as an indication of the fact that his wartime experiences had left him embittered and depressed, and without his prewar zeal for research. There is no question that the war had deeply affected Goudsmit. But his outspoken opposition to the postwar accounts of Heisenberg and others with regard to their motives and accomplishments during the war was a reflection of a more general concern about the effects of the war on the world’s physics communities, the quality of life one could expect as a practicing physicist, the reestablishment of prewar international camaraderie, and the freedom to pursue interesting questions for no other reason than their intrinsic appeal. It was these concerns that underpinned his postwar attitudes toward German science and individual German scientists.

At first, immediately after the war, Goudsmit was convinced that the only form of government under which it was possible to have a thriving, robust research community was a democracy. His convictions on these matters had been reinforced by the public struggle over the question of military versus civilian control of atomic energy and the exact character that would be prescribed by law for the Atomic Energy Commission. In Goudsmit’s view, the United States had come perilously close to making’ the Nazi mistake.’ It had been saved from that fate by the open nature of its governmental structures, which had provided organizations such as the American Federation of Scientists direct, meaningful access to the deliberative process. With the passing of time, Goudsmit worried more and more about the prospects for American science. He feared that government regulation and the influence of the concerns of the military would have disastrous consequences for American science. After the announcement of the detonation of the first Soviet atomic bomb in September 1949, Goudsmit shifted his analysis from consideration of the political forms under which science was being performed to the social, cultural, and material circumstances in which the activities of scientists were embedded.

By the end of his life, Goudsmit had a very simple, very clear picture of how physics had been affected by the war. Prior to the war, according to his analysis, there had been a relatively small number of physicists, no more than a hundred, at the forefront of research. They were in close communication with each other and were protected from the day-to-day events of the world by “the thick walls of academia.” The war changed all that. Physicists now found themselves in the midst of the turmoil of world problems. The destruction of their isolation had meant the end of freedom of action for physicists and for scientists in general, and might even signal the onset of an era in which physicists were no longer free to pursue the questions they deemed important not just in Nazi Germany, or the Soviet Union, but even in the United States.

In 1952 Goudsmit opened a new phase in his career by becoming editor of The Physical Review. At the time The Physical Review was a single journal, appearing twice a month and publishing about 5, 000 pages per year. During the next twenty-three years, in his tenure first as editor of The Physical Review and then, after 1961, as managing editor and editor in chief, Goudsmit oversaw the growth of the journal as it split first into two parts and then into five, publishing over 25, 000 pages per year at the time that Goudsmit retired in 1974. Of course the discipline of physics was going through a period of intense growth, and the encouragement of such growth would not have been in the interests of creating the kind of ambience in physics for which Goudsmit yearned. Goudsmit’s ability to manage the growth of The Physical Review reflects the degree to which, even as he pined for what he remembered as a simpler, kinder time, Goudsmit recognized the realities of the present.

It was in the interest of seeking ways to return the physics community to something of its prewar character that, in 1951, Goudsmit proposed the creation of a “letters journal.” This was just at the time he was expressing deep distress over the loss of the spirit of what he characterized as the prewar, worldwide physics community. Goudsmit’s proposal did not find favor with the Council of the American Physical Society (APS). Whether or not anyone else shared Goudsmit’s philosophic concerns about the changing character of the world community of physicists, there were other, more practical considerations that eventually allowed Goudsmit’s proposal to prevail. As the size of the physics community expanded, the time between submission, acceptance, and publication of research papers grew to what practitioners considered unacceptably long. As a result, individual researchers would distribute preprints of their publications, using mailing lists that were rather narrowly and exclusively defined. There was much concern about the fact that physicists in small universities and colleges didn’t get information critical to their research, and hence to their own advancement.

With his usual persistence, Goudsmit kept the issue before the Council of the APS meeting after meeting, year after year. In April 1958 the Council finally approved going forward with the journal on a trial basis. The first issue of Physical Review Letters was published on 1 July 1958. The journal was an instant success. At the time of Goudsmit’s death in 1978, it was the mostly widely read and emulated journal in physics. Typically, once this journal began, Goudsmit did not simply sit by and let nature take its course. For the sixteen years he served as editor, he published regular editorials, exhorting his readers and authors to do better.

After his retirement in 1974 as editor in chief of the APS, Goudsmit accepted a position as distinguished visiting professor at the University of Nevada. Reno. Where he lectured on what he called “physics appreciation” to a large undergraduate audience. On 4 December 1978 he was found dead of a heart attack in his car in the university parking lot. Later, when officials entered his office, they found a safe owned by the Department of Energy. Inside the safe Goudsmit had kept, among other things, much of the intelligence material he had collected during his tenure as scientific head of Project ALSOS. Thirty-five years after World War II, detective to the end, he had still been still keeping track of his “Germans.”

Goudsmit was a recipient of the O.B.E. (1948), of the Medal of Freedom, of the Karl Taylor Compton Medal of the American Institute of Physics (1974), and of the U.S. National Medal of Science (1976) He was a fellow of the American Physical Society, the National Academy of Science (elected 1947), and the Netherlands Physical Society. He was a member of the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


I. Original Works: Goudsmit’s most significant contributions to physics are “Relativistische Auffassung des Dubletts.” in Naturwissenschaften, 9 (1921), 995; “Les doublets dans les spectres visibles,” in Archives Neerlondaisas dos Sciences Exactos et Naturalles, 6 (1922), 116–126; “The Intensities of the Zeeman-Components,” in Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen Amsterdam, Afdeeling voor de Wis-en Natuurkundige Wetenschappen, 28 (1925), 418–422; “Über die Komplexstruktur der Spektren,” in Zeitschrift für Physik, 32 (1925), 794–798; “Ersetzung der Hypothese vom unmechanischen Zwang durch eine Forderung bezüglich des innern Verhaltens jedes einzelnen Elektrons,” in Naturwissenschaften, 13 (1925), 953–954, with G. E. Uhlenbeck; “Die Kopplungsmöglichkeiten der Quantenvektoren im Atom,” in Zeitschrift für Physik, 35 (1926), 618–625, with G. E. Uhlenbeck; “Spinning Electrons and the Structure of Spectra,” in Nature, 117 (1926), 264–265, with G. E. Uhlenbeck; “Over het roteerende electron en de structuur der spectra,” in Physica, 6 (1926), 273–290, with G. E. Uhlenbeck; “Die Koppelung der Quantenvektoren bei Neon, Argon, und einigen Spektren der kohelstoffgruppe,” in Zeitschrift für Physik, 40 (1926), 530–538, with E. Back; Atoommode l e n structuur der spectra (Amsterdam, 1927); “Kernmoment und Zeemaneffekt von Wismut,” in Zeitschrift für Physik, 47 (1928), 174–183, with E. Back; “Separations in Hyperfine Structure,” in Physical Review, 2nd ser., 34 (1929), 1–1501–1506, with R.F.Bacher;”Zur Hyperfeinstruktur des Wismuts,” in zeitschrift für Physik, 66 (1930)1–12, with P.Zeeman and E.Back; The Structure of Line Spectra (New York, (1930), with L.Pauling; “Theory of Hyperfine Structure Separations,” in Physical Review, 2nd ser., 37 (1931). 663–681; Atomic Energy States, as Derived from the Analyses of Optical Spectra (New York, 1932), with R.F. Bacher; “Nuclear Magnetic Moments,” in Physical Review. 2nd ser., 43 (1933). 636–639, “Diffusion of slow Neutrons,” ibid., 50 (1936).461–463, with D.S. Bayley B.R. Curitis, and E. R, Gaerttner; “Introduction to the Problem of the Isochronous Hairspring,” in Journal of Applied Physics, 11 (1940) 806–815, with Ming-chen Wang; “Multiple Scattering of Electrons,” in Physical Reviwe 2nd ser., 57 (1940), 247–29, and 58 (1940), 36–42, with J. L.Saunderson; and “Mass Maeasiurments with a Magnetic Time-of-Flight Mass spectrometer.’ibid., 84 (1951), 824– 829, with E.E. Hays and P.I. Richards. Goudsmit published several informal reminiscences;“The Discovery of Electron Spin,” typescript of a lecture given on Goudsmit’s acceptance of the Max Planck Medal (1965), held by the Niels Bohr Library at the American Institute of Physics, a German translation of which was published in Physikalische Blätter, 21 (1965).pp. 445–453; “It Might as Well Be Spin,” Physics Today 29 (June 1956), 40– 43, followed by George Uhlenbeck, “Personal Reminiscences,” 43–48; and “The Michigan Symposium in The oretical Physics,” in Michigan Alumnus Quarterly Review (20 May 1961), 178–182. The following material, written by Goudsmit, concerns his wartime experiences in Project ALSOS or his views on German science during or after World War II: “How Germany Lost the Race,” in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, I (1946), 4–5; “Secrecy or Science?” in Science Illustrated, 1 (1946), 97–99; “War Physics in Germany,” in Review of Scientific Instruments 17 (January (1946), 49–52; ALSOS (New York, 1947; 2nd enl.ed., 1946); and “Our Task in Germany,” in Bulletin of the atomic Scientists, 4 (1948), 106.

The bulk of Goudsmit’s papers are deposited at the archives of the American Institute of Physics. A small collection of material is now being processed bu Military Reference at the National Archives.

II. Secondary Literature. The best sources for investigating the history of the introduction of the concept of electron spin are P.Forman. “The Doublet Riddle and Atomic Physics circa 1924,” in lsis. 59 (1968), 156–174; Daniel Sewer, “Unmechanische Zwang: Pauli, Heisenberg, and the Rejection of the Mechanical Atom, 1923–1925,” in Historical Studies in Physical Science, 8 (1977), 189–256: David C. Cassidy, “Heisenberg’s First Core Model of the Atom: The Formation of a Professional Style, “ibid., 10 (1986), 187–224; Abraham Pais, Inward Bound: On Matter and Force on the Physical World (Oxford and New York, 1986), chaps, 10 and 13; Angelo Barraca, “Early Proposals of an Intrinsic Magnetic Moment of the Electron in Chemistry and Magnetism (1915–1921) Before the Papers of Goudsmit and Uhelenback,” in Rivista di storia della scienza 3, (1986), 353–374. No documentary history of Project ALSOS exists. The following account of the project is by its military commander: Boris Pash, ALSOS Mission (New York, 1969). Goudmist’s activities with regard to German seicntists after the war has been analyzed in Mark Walker, “Uranium Machines, Nuclear Weapons and national socialism: The German Quest for Nuclear Power, 1939–1949”(ph. D. diss., Princeton, 1987); S. Goldberg, “Between Old and New: Goudsmit at Brookhaven,” in The Restructuring of physical Sciences in Europe and the United States, 1945–1960 (in press). The following are biographical sketches of Goudsmit: Daniel Lang, “A Farewell to String and Sealing Wax, I,” in The New Yorker (7 November 1953), 47–72; and “A Farewell to String and Sealing Wax, II,” ibid.(14 November 1953), 46–67 “Goudsmit, Samuel Abraham,” in Current Biography, 1954, 304–306; and “Goudsmit, Samuel Abraham,” in McGraw-Hill Modern Scientists and Engineers, I (New York, 1980), 452–453.

Stanley Goldberg

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