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Anthony P. French papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-0690

Scope and Contents

The collection documents the professional activities of Anthony P. French from approximately 1950 to 2011. The collection consists of course notes and preparatory materials, correspondence, publications, talks, and background materials.


  • 1950 - 2011


Language of Materials

The material is primarily in English.

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

Anthony P. French was born in Brighton, England, in 1920. He attended Cambridge University, receiving a B.A. (Physics) in 1942 and a Ph.D. (Nuclear Physics) in 1948. In 1942 he joined the British atomic bomb project (Tube Alloys) at the Cavendish Laboratory and was sent to Los Alamos in 1944 as a member of the British Mission. He returned to the U.K. in 1946, worked for two years at the new Atomic Energy Research Establishment, and then became a faculty member at Cambridge University for seven years, doing nuclear research at the Cavendish Lab. He was also a Fellow and Director of Studies in Natural Sciences at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

In 1955 he emigrated to the U.S. to join the University of South Carolina, where he served as Physics department head. Since 1962 he has been at MIT, engaged chiefly in undergraduate teaching and the development of physics curricula and teaching materials, especially the MIT Introductory Physics series of textbooks. He also edited Einstein: A Centenary Volume (1979) and co-edited Niels Bohr: A Centenary Volume (1985).

From 1975 to 1981 he served as chair of the Commission on Physics Education of The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, and in 1985–86 was President of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). He is also a Fellow of the American Physical Society. For his work in Physics Education, he has received the University Medal of the Charles University, Prague (1980), the Bragg Medal of the Institute of Physics, London (1988), the Oersted Medal of AAPT (1989), and the Melba Newell Phillips Award of AAPT (1993). He has been Professor Emeritus at MIT since 1991.



22 Cubic Feet (22 record cartons)


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 Anthony P. French
Data Entry In Progress
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 November 19: 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