Professor of nuclear physics, California Institute of Technology,
1941-1973. Includes correspondence, proposals, monographs, research data, lecture
notes, conference, travel and course materials, materials relating to work with government
and professional organizations, e.g., the Atomic Energy Commission, National Academy of
Sciences, and the American Physical Society. Bulk of collection from after World War II.
Principal correspondent is Fay Ajzenberg-Selove; others include his father, C. C.
Lauritsen, Luis Alvarez, Hans Bethe, Niels and Aage Bohr, and William A. Fowler.
Thomas Lauritsen--or Tommy, as he was always called--was the son of Charles
Christian Lauritsen, one of Caltech's most prominent nuclear physicists. Tommy Lauritsen's
forty-one year association with Caltech began in 1932 when he entered the Institute to pursue his
undergraduate degree. Following the award of his PhD in 1939, he left Caltech for postdoctoral
study at what is now the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. He returned to Caltech in 1941 and
was appointed to the physics faculty in 1946. He served Caltech continuously until his untimely
death from cancer at the age of fifty-seven in October, 1973.
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