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Francis E. Low papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MC-0658

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Scope and Contents

The collection, which spans the years of 1977 to 1990, primarily documents Francis E. Low's time with the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Human Rights. These materials include appeals, meeting materials, and a draft of "Scientific and Human Rights in Chile."


  • Creation: 1977 - 1990


Access note

This collection is open.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Biographical Note

Francis E. Low, 1921-2007, was a professor of physicst and provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

During World War II, Low worked on the mathematics of uranium enrichment processes for the Manhattan Project at the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee. He left the project to join the Army's 10th Mountain Division in Europe. He served as a mule driver and later as an artillery surveyor.

After the war, Low went to Columbia University, where he earned his Ph.D. in physics in 1950, followed by postdoctoral work at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He spent a few years teaching at the University of Illinois at Urbana before arriving at MIT.

Low joined MIT's physics department in 1957 and served as provost from 1980 to 1985. Before becoming provost, he directed MIT's Center for Theoretical Physics and the Laboratory for Nuclear Science. In 1969, he became a founding member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

During his time as provost, he encouraged a prominent role for the humanities in MIT's curriculum. MIT became affiliated with the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research during his tenure.

An Institute Professor, he retired from MIT in 1991 but continued to teach physics for a few more years.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Preliminary Inventory to the Papers of Francis E. Low
Preliminary Inventory
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 November 29: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
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Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US