Eugene Feenberg Memorial Lecture Series

Eugene Feenberg (1906-1977), a world-renowned theoretical physicist, was Wayman Crow Professor of Physics at Washington University and a Member of the National Academy of Sciences.  Born in Fort Smith, Arkansas, he was awarded A.B. and M.A. degrees in 1929 from the University of Texas.  In 1933, he received his Ph.D. at Harvard University, where his thesis contained the first statement and proof of the optical theorem for quantum scattering.  He held positions at Harvard and the University of Wisconsin, followed by a two-year Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study.  From 1938 to 1946 he was a member of the faculty of New York University. During World War II, he worked at the Sperry Gyroscope Company and contributed to the development of radar.

In 1946, Feenberg joined the faculty of Washington University, where he worked and taught for the rest of his life.  For many years, he shared an office with Henry Primakoff.  Their 1948 paper drew attention to the astrophysical importance of inverse Compton scattering. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Feenberg won wide acclaim for pioneering works in several branches of theoretical physics.  He was among the first to recognize the charge independence of nuclear forces and associate it with the internal symmetry called isospin.  He played a major role in the formulation of the nuclear shell model, and he made innovative contributions to perturbation theory and other approximation methods in quantum mechanics.  He was the founder of the theory of correlated basis functions, one of the most fruitful approaches to first-principles, microscopic description of quantum fluids and other strongly-interacting many-particle systems. Through his remarkable dignity and integrity, his incisive intellect, and his path-breaking achievements, Eugene Feenberg has had a profound influence on the development of computational quantum many-body theory.  As a continuing memorial, his colleagues and former students established the Feenberg Medal for Many-Body Physics, which has been awarded since 1985 at the International Conferences on Recent Progress in Many-Body Theories.

Past Feenberg Lectures

John Bardeen (1979)
Quantum Fluids and the Structure of  Matter

Eugene P. Wigner (1980)
The Meaningful Nature of the Principle of Causality

David Pines (1982)
Elementary Excitations in Liquid Helium

John A. Wheeler
Almost Everything from Almost Nothing?

Walter E. Massey (1988)
 If I were President: Science and Technology Issues  for the New Administration

Herman Feshbach (1989)
 Evolution of a Nuclear Reaction

George E. Pake (1990)
Basic Science Foundations for Applied Research

Malvin H. Kalos
Crowds at the Casino, or Quantum Monte Carlo and the Many-Fermion Problem

N. David Mermin (1993)
Some New and Simpler No-Hidden-Variable Theorems

Eric G. Adelberger (1994)
Modern Tests of the Universality of Free Fall

S. Chandrasekhar (1995)
Newton's Formulation of His Universal Law of Gravitation

Richard L. Garwin (1996)
The End of Nuclear Explosion Tests? And What About the Nuclear Weapons?

Leon Lederman (1997)
A Physicist Mired in Science Education

Leon N. Cooper (1998)
Confessions of an Unrepentant Reductionist: What the Laws of Physics Don't Tell Us

Daniel Kleppner (1999)
The Bose-Einstein Condensation of Hydrogen

Michael V. Berry (2000)
Quantum Indistinguishability

Albert W. Overhauser (2001)
Dynamic Nuclear Polarization

Walter Kohn (2003)
A New Perspective on van der Waals Interactions

Frank Wilczek
The Origin of Mass and the Feebleness of Gravity

Anthony J. Leggett (2004)
What Can We Do With a Quantum Liquid?

Norman F. Ramsey (2005)
Contributions of Magnetic Resonance to Other  Sciences

Horst L. Störmer (2006)
Small Wonders: the World of Nanoscience  

Gordon Baym (2007)
New States of Quantum Matter 

William D. Phillips  (2011)
Almost Absolute Zero: The Story of Laser Cooling and Trapping

Elliott Lieb (2012)
Applications of Reflection and Positivity: Graphene & Other Examples

Douglas J. Scalapino (2014)
A Common Thread: the Pairing Interaction in the Unconventional Superconductors

Hans A. Weidenmüller (2015)
Random Hamiltonians in Quantum Physics

David Wineland (2017)
Quantum Computers and Raising Schrödinger's Cat

Steven Louie (2022)
   The Fascinating Quantum World of One- and Two-dimensional Materials

Paul Steinhardt (2023)

   The Second Kind of Impossible

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