Clinton Davisson

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Clinton Davisson, 1937
Clinton Davisson (left) and Lester Halbert Germer (right).

Clinton Joseph Davisson (born October 22, 1881 in Bloomington , Illinois , † February 1, 1958 in Charlottesville , Virginia ) was an American physicist and Nobel Prize winner .


Clinton Joseph Davisson was on 22 October 1881 as the son of the artisan Joseph Davisson and teacher Mary Calvert in Bloomington in the state of US Illinois born. He began studying mathematics and physics at the University of Chicago in September 1902, after graduating from high school in Bloomington, but had to drop out after a year for financial reasons and took a job with a telephone company in Bloomington. On the recommendation of Millikan , whom he had met during his year in Chicago, he received an assistantship at Purdue University in January 1904 , and from June 1904 to August 1905 he was able to continue his studies in Chicago. In September 1904, again on the recommendation of Millikan, he was appointed to a part-time position as a physics instructor at Princeton University , which he held until 1910. During his spare time he attended lectures by Francis Magie , Edwin Plimpton Adams , James Jeans and Owen Willans Richardson . In the summer semesters he attended the lectures in Chicago several times and received his Bachelor of Science there in 1908. In 1910/11 he received a physics scholarship from Princeton University and received his doctorate there in 1911 under Professor Richardson on the thermal emission of positive ions of alkaline earth salts . From September 1911 to April 1917 he was an instructor in the physics department at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh , and in June 1917 he took a position in the engineering department of the Western Electric Company (later Bell Telephone Laboratories ) in New York for the time of the war City after being rejected by the US Army. After the war ended, he turned down an assistant professorship at the Carnegie Institute of Technology and stayed with Western Electric. He retired from Bell Telephone Laboratories in 1946 after 29 years of service and was Visiting Professor of Physics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia from 1947 to 1949 .

Davisson married Charlotte Sara Richardson , sister of his doctoral supervisor Professor Richardson, in 1911 and had four children, three sons and a daughter. He died in Charlottesville on February 1, 1958.


Davisson received the 1937 Nobel Prize in Physics for the experimental confirmation of the matter waves predicted by de Broglie , which he and Lester Germer had succeeded in demonstrating in 1926 by demonstrating the diffraction of electrons on crystals . Today, LEED is an important analytical method in surface chemistry . The second half of the award went to George Paget Thomson .



Web links

Commons : Clinton Davisson  - Collection of Images, Videos, and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Davisson (moon crater) in the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature of the IAU (WGPSN) / USGS