At the time of "The Physical Review", Norman Ramsey was a physics professor at Harvard. He recorded the second performance (on Jan. 22, 1951) using a wire recorder. He has carefully preserved the recording over the years, transferring it first to reel-to-reel tape, then arranging for transfer to Digital Audio Tape (done by Dr. David Griesinger and Harvard Professor Paul Horowitz, co-author of The Art of Electronics), and finally arranging for transfer to CD (done by Prof. Horowitz). I am deeply honored that Prof. Ramsey has chosen PhysicsSongs.org as the venue for making these recordings public.
At the time of the 1951 performance, Prof. Ramsey was already well-established in the world of physics. After undergraduate education at Columbia University and the Cavendish Lab of Cambridge University, he did his Ph.D. work under I. I. Rabi. (Listen to a lecture by Ramsey about Rabi and the early history of magnetic resonance.) Ramsey graduated in 1940; Rabi won the Nobel Prize four years later. During WWII, Ramsey worked at the MIT Radiation Lab on the development of radar, and on the Manhattan Project. He then returned to Columbia as a Professor, working with Rabi and others on molecular beam research. Together with Rabi, he laid the groundwork for the establishment of Brookhaven National Laboratory, and in 1946 became the first head of its Physics Department. A year later, he accepted a professorship at Harvard, and has continued his work there since.
Prof. Ramsey won the Nobel Prize in 1989 for his work on the hydrogen maser and the atomic clock. (The atomic clock underpins the Global Positioning System, and many other important technologies. Listen to a lecture by Prof. Ramsey about atomic clocks.) He has been recognized by numerous prestigious research awards. He has also won the Oersted Medal, in recognition of his contributions to physics and math teaching. Read more in his autobiography.
Background image: Covers for Tom Lehrer's albums