AIP History Center Newsletter
Volume XXXII, No. 1, Spring 2000


New Member of the Physics Legacy Circle

We are happy to announce that Morrel H. Cohen is one of the newest members of the Physics Legacy Circle.

Dr. Cohen graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1952 and immediately entered the University of Chicago as an instructor in the Physics Department and the James Franck Institute. His love of variety and knowledge led him to research in developmental biology, which he later combined with physics to become the Louis Block Professor of Physics and Theoretical Biology. His broad interests included industrial research, which led him to the Exxon Corporate Research Laboratory in 1981. After he retired in 1996, he remained as an informal emeritus with Exxon until January 2000.

He now spends his retirement as a Distinguished Scientist at Rutgers, where he pursues his first love, condensed matter theory. “I haven’t retired, only my salary has!” Dr. Cohen quipped when asked about his current status. One current interest is developing practical computational schemes for materials containing strongly correlated electrons. “I am fascinated by the scientific possibilities offered by current increases in computation capacity,” he stated in a recent interview.

When asked why he made the decision to become a member of the History of Physics Legacy Circle, Dr. Cohen said, “It was a gut reaction—a reflex!” He has been tracking the emergence of the history of physics as a separate discipline since he became involved in the physics community in 1950. “I have a kind of natural sympathy for the history of physics,” said Dr. Cohen, “and a serious interest in seeing the Center for History of Physics continue to grow in its usefulness.”

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