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Typescript of "A Physicist of the Lucky Generation," by John C. Slater

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-0189

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection consists of a typescript copy of John Clarke Slater's autobiographical manuscript, "A Physicist of the Lucky Generation," a detailed account of his family history and early professional life up to 1920, and his association with Harvard and decision to take a faculty and administrative position at the Massachusetts Insitute of Technology in 1930.


  • circa 1975


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.


John Clarke Slater, 1900-1976, AB 1920, University of Rochester; AM 1922, PhD 1923, Harvard University, taught physics at Harvard from 1924 to 1930. In 1930 Slater came to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as head of the Department of Physics at the invitation of Karl Compton soon after the latter assumed the presidency of MIT in 1930. Working with President Compton, Professor Slater was involved with expanding and strengthening science curriculum and research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1951 Slater was named Institute Professor, the first faculty member to hold that title. In 1966 he retired as Institute Professor emeritus and continued to be active professionally at both MIT and the University of Florida.

From 1940 to 1945 John Slater was a staff member of the government's radar research Radiation Laboratory housed on the MIT campus, and leader of Group 43, Theoretical Group. At MIT after the war he helped in the transformation of the Radiation Laboratory into the Research Laboratory of Electronics and helped to establish the Laboratory for Nuclear Science. His research focused on atomic and solid state physics, in which he made fundamental contributions to the science underlying the transistor.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



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

Source of Acquisiton

This typescript was donated to Distinctive Collections (formerly the Institute Archives and Special Collections) by the American Philosophical Society. See collection file for further details.

Location of Originals

The original manuscript is held by the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Related Materials

The John C. Slater papers are held by the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Select Bibliography

  • Slater, John C. "History of the M.I.T. Physics Department, 1930-1948. "
  • Slater, John C., and Nathaniel H. Frank. Introduction to Theoretical Physics. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1933.
  • Slater, John C. Microwave Transmission. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1942.
  • Slater, John C., and Nathaniel H. Frank. Electromagnetism. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1947.
  • Slater, John C. Modern Physics. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1955.
  • Slater, J. C. Solid-State and Molecular Theory: A Scientific Biography. New York: Wiley-Interscience, 1975.
  • Quantum Theory of Atoms, Molecules, and the Solid State, A Tribute to John C. Slater. Edited by Per-Olav Löwdin. New York: Academic Press, 1966.
  • Morse, Philip M. "John Clarke Slater, 1900-1976: A Biographical Memoir." Biographical Memoirs. National Academy of Sciences, 1982.
Typescript of "A Physicist of the Lucky Generation," by John C. Slater
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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